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The Lewis Carroll Society of North America 




Summer 2008 

Volume II Issue 1 

Number 80 

Knight Letter is the official magazine of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America. 

It is published twice a year and is distributed free to all members. 

Editorial correspondence should be sent to the Editor in Chief at 

Submissions for The Rectory Umbrella should be sent to 

Submissions for Mischmasch should be sent to 

Submissions for All Must Have Prizes should be sent to 

© 2008 The Lewis Carroll Society of North America 

ISSN 0193-886X 

Andrew Sellon, Editor in Chief 

August and Clare Imholtz, Editors, The Rectory Umbrella 

Sarah Adams &' Ray Kiddy, Editors, Mischmasch 

Mark Burstein, Production Editor 

Andrew H. Ogus, Designer 

The Lewis Carroll Society of North America 

Andrew Sellon, 

Cindy Watter, 

Clare Imholtz, 

Annual membership dues are U.S. $35 (regular), 
$50 (international), and $100 (sustaining). 

Subscriptions, correspondence and inquiries should be addressed to: 

Clare Imholtz, LCSNA Secretary 

11935 Beltsville Dr. 

Beltsville, Maryland 20705 

Additional Contributors to This Issue 
Francine Abeles, Gary Brockman, Angelica Carpenter, Mary DeYoun^ 
Mark Richards, and Cindy Watter 

On the cover: "Hare, Hatter, and Dormouse" © 2007 Oleg Lipchenko. 
See pages 4, 16-19, and 43. 




Alice in Washingtonland 



Evolution of a Dream-Child, Part VI: 
The End of the Twentieth Century 



Alice in Inania, Part II 


Knightless Carroll 


Drawing Treacle Well: Some Thoughts about Illustrating Mice 


Alice & Altemus 


In Memoriam: 

Dr Anashia Plackis, Carolyn Buck, Ollie Johnston, 

Brice Harvey Mack 



Sic, Sic, Sic 

Off the Hookah 


Lewis Carroll and Drug-Taking 


For the Record: Lewis Carroll References in the 
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 



Just the Facs, Ma 'am 









Nores &^ QueRies 







Kovac and Liew's Wonderland 


Bill Osco 's Alice in Wonderland 


An Annotated International Bibliography of Lewis 
Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno Books 


The House on Fortune Street 


Oleg Lipchenko 's Wonderland 


Phoebe in Wonderland 




Art — Articles & Academia — Books CJf Comics 

Cyberspace — Movies & Television 
Performing Arts — Places 6f Events — Things 

''ingle, tingle! Welcome back aboard, mates. 
Within these 42-plus pages, you'll find our 
latest shipment of Carollian treats and trea- 
sures for your delectation. All have been cleared by 
Literary Customs (aka the editorial staff) and are 
guaranteed to be 100% Boojum-free (there may be a 
bit of Snarking here and there, but not above the al- 
lowable percentage as dictated by the Registry of Gen- 
teel Conduct). With this issue, we present the sixth 
and final installment of Victoria Sears Goldman's ex- 
cellent essay on A/zc^ images through the decades. We 
hope that we can persuade her to expand her study 
in coming decades. We also offer you the second half 
of Jamila Verghese's droll Alician observations about 
India in the 1960s and 1970s, along with a survey of 
Altemus editions by Gary Sternick, and Ruth Herman's 
ponderings as to why Mr. Dodgson never ended up as 

a knight (white or otherwise) in real life. We also have 
August Imholtz's delightful account of the equally de- 
lightful spring meeting, and a transcription of artist 
Oleg Lipchenko's fascinating talk from that session; 
we hope to present Mark Goodacre's equally insight- 
ful lecture in a future issue. Add to that our usual col- 
umns, including a host of reviews, articles, artwork, 
and lively discussion courtesy of you, our members, 
and I think you'll agree this is another hold full of 
gold. Gast off! Hoist anchor! Set sail, noble reader. 
And enjoy. 


j ^, 


'^heodore Roosevelt, the twenty-sixth Presi- 
dent of the United States, is said to have re- 
marked to the writer Owen Wister: "I can be 
President of the United States — or — I can attend to 
Alice. I cannot possibly do both!" And neither could 
George Walker Bush, our forty-third President, so he 
was unable to attend any of the wonderful meetings 
during our three days of Alice in the nation's capital 
from Friday, April 25, through Sunday, April 27. Roos- 
evelt was speaking of his daughter, Alice Lee Roos- 
evelt, and we, of course, are speaking of an equally 
spirited Alice — Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. 
We started on Friday with the Lewis Carroll Society of 
North America in Washingtonland. 

Walking around Neptune's Fountain in front of 
the grand neo-baroque Jefferson Building of the Li- 
brary of Congress and through the old covered car- 
riage entrance, some thirty members of the Lewis 
Carroll Society of North America passed through 
security, not totally without incident, and made our 
way up to the Lessing J. Rosenwald Room, opposite 
the Rare Book Room on the second floor. At eleven 
o'clock, our host, Mark Dimunadon, who is Chief of 
Rare Books and Special Collecdons at the Library of 
Congress, was already waidng for us with an exhibit 
of wonderful rare Carroll books and a special Carroll- 
related manuscript coUecdon. He welcomed us to the 
Library and spoke about the now famous scrapbook 
that Lewis Carroll had kept at Oxford from the mid- 

1850s undl the mid-1870s, which had languished un- 
touched at the Library for decades. Mark explained 
how the pages had been carefully digidzed and the 
text keyed for searching full-text behind the im- 
ages, and credited some LCSNA members for bring- 
ing the importance of this almost forgotten work to 
his attention. The scrapbook had been purchased 
at one of the sales of Carroll's estate by Frederic L. 
Huidekopper when he was an American undergradu- 
ate at Christ Church in 1898. He disdnguished him- 
self in World War I, and later became a military his- 
torian. He donated the scrapbook to the Library of 
Congress in 1934 and died six years later after being 
run over by a street trolley in Georgetown. The scrap- 
book can be viewed at 

In addidon to the scrapbook, we saw, and could 
touch, the Library's copy of The Garland of Rachel 
(which Selwyn Goodacre was quick to note displayed 
some bibliographic curiosides), the Eldridge Johnson 
facsimile of the Under Ground manuscript, and more. 

On two other tables, Mark had arranged a se- 
lection of original materials documendng the effort 
to purchase and return the fair-copy manuscript of 
Alice's Adventures under Ground to the British nation. 
There we could read correspondence between Luther 
Evans, Librarian of Congress, and Sir John Forsdyke, 
Director of the Bridsh Museum, on the arrangements 
for returning the manuscript; lists of the Americans 

Mark Goodacre 

who were asked to contribute and did (Walt Disney, 
Nelson A. Rockefeller, Mrs. Eldridge Johnson, Gen- 
eral William Donovan, and others); and those who 
were asked but did not contribute (Nelson Double- 
day, J. D. Rockefeller, Jr., and others). What is most 
impressive about these materials and the whole ex- 
ercise of American goodwill and generosity that they 
document is the extent to which Lessing Rosenwald 
and his family not only contributed the most, but 
along with Dr. A. S. W. Rosenbach, Arthur Houghton, 
and others, made it happen. We saw the original type- 
script of Luther Evans's later published and repub- 
lished account of the return of the manuscript and 
also this letter: 


I am directed by the Trustees of the British Mu- 
seum to acknowledge the receipt of the Manu- 
script mentioned on the other side, which a 
body of American Subscribers has been so 
good as to present to them, and I am to re- 
quest that you will convey to the Subscribers 
the expression of the best thanks of the Trust- 
ees of the British Museum for this donation. 

I have the honour to be. Sir, 

Your obedient Servant, 

John Forsdyke 

Director and Principal Librarian 

From the Rosenwald Room, with its balcony look- 
ing down on the magnificent Main Reading Room, 

Mr. Dimunation led us under the promise of strict si- 
lence (this still is observed in some libraries) through 
the Hispanic and the European Reading Rooms and 
over to the splendid re-creation of the original library 
of Thomas Jefferson, which became the foundation 
of the Library of Congress after the British burned 
the Capitol Building in the War of 1812 and thus de- 
stroyed much of Congress's first library. Mr. Dimuna- 
tion gave us a private talk about the re-creation of the 
library, which we could see in fine circular glass cases 
placed in a grand room in the west apron of the Jef- 
ferson Building. 

Almost suffering from bibliophilic overload, 
we traversed the tunnels that connect the Jefferson 
Building with the other buildings of the Library of 
Congress to have lunch on the sixth floor of the Mad- 
ison Building looking out in the far distance on the 
Potomac River, and, if one was eagle-eyed enough, on 
Brent Magnet School in the left corner of our near- 
distance view. A short walk of three blocks took us to 
that District of Columbia elementary school, where 
two classes of students assembled in the auditorium 
at 2:30 p.m. 

Ellie Schaefer-Salins introduced the program and 
read the narrator's part. Selwyn Goodacre was the 
Caterpillar, not blue but otherwise perfect, and was 
joined by Janet Goodacre as an absolutely brilliant 
Alice, while Peter Atkinson and Ken Salins nicely di- 
vided reading the parts of "Father William." 

The kids, two fourth-grade classes, were a bit 
subdued, as they had sat through hour after hour of 
standardized tests that day, but one child (there is 
always one!) had answers for all of Ellie's questions 
and lots of additional thoughts to share. The children 
were thrilled to receive their own copies of the Books 
of Wonder edition oi Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 
and the school's assistant principal thanked us for 
visiting Brent. There may have been more LCSNA 
members at this Maxine Schaefer reading than any 
other to date. 

On Saturday morning, some sixty or so members 
and guests assembled at Fairland Library in suburban 
Burtonsville, Maryland, for the formal lecture por- 
tion of our meeting. In our first talk, entitied "Charles 
Dodgson and the Conventions of Victorian Piety," 
Dr. Mark Goodacre of Duke University explored the 
question of where Dodgson's private thoughts on 
sinfulness, as expressed in his diary, do in fact fit in 
conventional Victorian British piety. Was Dodgson 
saying something unique, or were his self-reflections 
a part and piece of Victorian spirituality? Goodacre 
followed the themes of "confession and resolution" 
through some of Dodgson's diary entries, with a nod 
or two to his correspondence, and then related the 
diary entries to some published opinions on Dodg- 
son's religious convictions and their bearing, if any, 
on his relationship with Alice Pleasance Liddell. 

On the matter of resolution, one might even say 
resolution and dependence, he began by quoting 
from Dodgson's January 2, 1887, diary entry: "Two 
things were necessary for our being made clean: His 
will and our will. He is always ready; we can count on 
Him, but we must be willing too, what wilt thou. . ." As 
one reviews the sequence of entries, especially those 
at year's end or beginning of the new year, one sees 
that they occur, in Goodacre's analysis, in conjunc- 
tion with Dodgson's participation in the Communion 
Service. In other words, a post-sacramental reflection 
or excitation. 

Goodacre hardly claimed that resolution and 
confession were inventions of Victorian piety, since 
clearly they have a very long history before Queen 
Victoria. The fourth-century fathers of the Egyptian 
desert, such as the Abbot Shenudi, to take but one 
example, seemed to have little time to do anything 
other than confess and resolve; and in fact the roots 
of confession and resolution go back farther than the 
fourth century (both in moral philosophy and reli- 
gion) and appear in a great many variations and fla- 
vors up to and beyond the Victorian age. 

The sound methodology Goodacre adopted was 
to compare the language about sin used by Dodgson 
with the language used by four other Victorian diarists 
from different social strata: Stafford Brown, a clergy- 
man; George Pegler, a headmaster; Amy Pearce, an 
ordinary woman and devout Congregationalist; and 
Andrew Tait, a fifteen-year-old schoolboy. Goodacre 
does indeed find significant similarities in the resolu- 
tion-confession, almost a conversio morum, throughout 
these texts. The theme of resolution-confession, or 
vice versa, if not expressed in exactly the same words, 
is surely there in concept. 

Here are just a few excerpts from the handout he 
provided, which are taken largely from Heather Cre- 
aton's published volume Victorian Diaries: The Daily 
Lives of Victorian Men and Women (London: Michael 
Beazley, 2001). 

First from Dodgson himself: "Here, at the close 
of another year, how much of neglect, carelessness 
and sin have I to remember! ... Now I have a fresh 
year before me: once more let me set myself to do 
something worthy of life 'before I go hence, and be 
no more seen.'" 

From Stafford Brown: "Assist me with Thy grace 
and Holy Spirit, that I may be able to fulfill this and 
all other good resolutions; that, as Thou has put into 
my heart good desires, so I may be enabled by Thy 
grace to bring them to good effect. ... O Lord, if 
through infirmity of the flesh I am unable to keep 
this resolution thoroughly, or from my backwardness, 
or from any other cause, pardon me." 

From George Pegler: "I am very poorly today and 
have been for some days. At this time I feel weak in 
Spiritual things, having but little peace of mind aris- 

Mark Dimunation, Chief of Rare Books and Special Collections 
at the Library of Congress 

ing from a partial neglect of the Word of God and not 
being able to keep under my besetting sin, which is a 
cause of daily mourning and sorrow of heart." 

From Amy Pearce: "As usual I make all kinds of 
resolutions and fail to keep them. I am feeling so 
wretched, so miserable." 

From Andrew Tait: "This is midsummer day.... I 
intend to try and do more of the things that I should 
do and less of the things I shouldn't." 

Some biographers and critics have suggested that 
Carroll's concerns about sinfulness relate to his sup- 
posed desire to propose marriage to Alice — highly 
speculative as that view may be — whereas in the com- 
munion context, like a sort of spiritual jolt, Goodacre 
ties these self-reflective remarks to the question of 
Dodgson's advancing to priestly orders in the An- 
glican Church. (He, of course, did not.) Goodacre 
continues to relate such reflections on Dodgson's 
part to more quotidian, or more accurately said, an- 
nual examinations of conscience. We look forward to 
a fuller presentation of Mark Goodacre's thoughts 
in a future article as he challenges the conventional 
understandings of Carroll's personal piety within the 
wider context of English Christian Victorian spiritual 

The talk by our second speaker, Alice illustrator 
Oleg Lipchenko, is presented elsewhere in this issue. 
Lipchenko has spent some twenty years or more with 
Alice, and it is very interesting indeed and perhaps 
quite unusual for an artist to share his thoughts on 


Oleg Lipchencko 

what problems he faced as an illustrator and how he 
solved them, while remaining true to his original im- 
pression, understanding, and vision of Carroll's text. 

Though there was really not enough time for all 
the questions the audience had of our two speakers, 
we continued discussion over a very pleasant lunch 
at TJ's of Calverton, a few hundred yards from the 
Imholtz home, where we next repaired. There we 
looked at the Imholtzes' seventeen bookcases of Car- 
roll books. After an hour or so of cookies, coffee, and 
Sylvie and Bruno [ooh, they went down so swell], we 
climbed into our cars and vans to drive about five 
miles to the home of EUie and Ken Salins, where we 
examined the Schaefer-Salins Carroll Collection — in- 
cluding probably the world's largest collection of 
Alice teapots, only about 111! — enjoyed a delicious 
Italian buffet, and participated in the fourth LCSNA 
auction. Joel Birenbaum proved to be a brilliant auc- 
tioneer, ably and entertainingly accompanied — and 
sometimes upstaged — by his ten-year-old assistant, 
Lauren Goodacre. The auction was not only great fun 
for all who participated, but also raised over $2,000 
for the Society. 

Finally, around 7:00 p.m., we again returned to 
our cars and vans, no trains or planes required, and 
drove a short distance in the cool evening to the home 
of David and Mary Schaefer in the Springbrook For- 
est section of Silver Spring, Maryland. David and Mary 
have the oldest Carroll collection in private hands 
outside of what is still in the possession of the descen- 
dants of Charles L. Dodgson's family. Some treasures, 
books, and a mathematical manuscript were set out 
for us. Unknown to David, however, we had planned 
to honor him for his lifelong contribution to the life 
and success of the Lewis Carroll Society of North 
America. At an appropriate moment, after most des- 

sert plates had been put down — dessert having been 
part of the excuse to visit the Schaefer collection — 
Ellie called for silence and, as an approximation of 
it was achieved, presented her father with a brilliant 
caricature of him as the [Mad] Hatter, which the 
talented Jonathan Dixon had so cleverly and nicely 
drawn. August Imholtz said a few words about how 
much David Schaefer and his family had meant to 
Clare and himself, having been introduced by them 
to the LCSNA. August then read the framed LCSNA 
Presidential Proclamation from Andrew Sellon, the 
text of which follows, which so clearly expresses what 
so many of us feel about David Schaefer. We listened 
to a tape of a ten-minute heartfelt encomium of David 
sent by Edward Wakeling, a longtime and very dear 
friend to David and the whole Schaefer family. David 
was of course taken completely by surprise, though 
he had wondered why Ellie and Ken, together with 
the Imholtzes, had not seen fit to involve him more 
than they did in the planning of the meeting. Now he 
understood and graciously thanked all of us. Surely 
a White Stone Day for David and Mary Schaefer, and 
for the LCSNA. 

Presidential Proclamation in Honor of 

Whereas, David H. Schaefer was a found- 
ing member of the Lewis Carroll Society of 
North America (LCSNA), was one of the prin- 
cipal drafters of the LCSNA Constitution, was 
LCSNA President, assisted his late wife, Max- 
ine Schaefer, in fulfilling the responsibilities 
of the Secretary of the LCSNA, has written im- 
portant works on Lewis Carroll, primarily on 
Alice in the films, has shared his knowledge of 
Carroll's life and works with all who sought his 
help, has opened his collection to the many 
visitors to his Silver Spring home, where all of 
us assembled here are privileged once again 
to be, and in summary has given this Society 
and the world at large a lifetime of worthy 
Carrollian contributions. 


today, the twenty-sixth day of April, in the year 
two thousand and eight, shall be named and 
celebrated as David H. Schaefer Day by all So- 
ciety members and all others who have ben- 
efited from his wisdom, his enthusiasm, his 
generosity and his friendship. 

With Deepest Respect and Gratitude 

On Behalf of the Entire Society 

Andrew Sellon, President 

The Lewis Carroll Society of North America 

April 26, 2008 




The Mad David Schaefer, Carrollian Extraordinaire 

On Sunday morning, a large number of us set 
out to visit Matt Crandall and Wendy Lane Crandall's 
fantastic collection of Disney Alice materials at their 
home in Burke, Virginia — another suburb of Wash- 
ington, D.C. To give you just one fact, this writer 
counted over eighty shelves, mostly each at least three 
feet long, full of all matter of Disney figurines, lunch 
boxes, full-scale figures designed but not actually 
used in the famous 1951 Disney Alice animated fea- 
ture film, not to mention hundreds of original draw- 
ings by Disney artists, posters, and even a doorknob, 
specially made by Disney artists and craftsmen, mod- 
eled on the one in the film. If Matt and Wendy had 
not been so solicitous of us, some might have been 
overwhelmed by the richness of their collection. And 
we were told there was even more Disney Aliciana in 
the garage — almost too much to believe after all we 
had already seen. 

From the Crandall home, some departed, and 
about nine of us continued on to the splendid Victo- 
rian calotype photography exhibit curated by Roger 
Taylor and Sarah Greenough, entitled "Impressed by 

Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives," in 
the West Wing of the National Gallery. A Skeffington 
Lutwidge photograph was prominently displayed, to- 
gether with photographs by Roger Fenton, Linnaeus 
Tripe, and many others, starting of course with Fox 
Talbot's work, and though there was much to see 
and admire, time, as it must, ran out. Our three-day 
meeting drew to a leisurely close as we drove back to 
Beltsville, stopping for a moment on the way to show 
two of our English guests the National Arboretum 
and its sixteen splendid Corinthian columns, which 
once graced the East Portico of the Capitol Building. 
Standing there in their beautiful simplicity, without 
their pediments, architraves, or other classic architec- 
tural paralipomena, they seemed, however strangely, 
as uplifting as the whole long Lewis Carroll in Wash- 
ingtonland weekend had been. 

Oleg Lipchenko and family have made a short video of the 
meeting, which is available at http://alice-dodo.blogspot. 
com/. Meeting photos along with amusing commentary 
courtesy of Joel Birenbaum can be seen at www. lewiscarroll. 


Images of Alice & Changing Conceptions of Childhood 

victoria sears goldman 




During the last decades of the twentieth century, 
childhood entered a state of "crisis,"' a rup- 
ture characterized by an increase in attitudes 
and behaviors previously associated with adulthood, and 
a decrease in the qualities that made the Romantic child 
so appealing for so many years. Childhood as we thought 
we knew it was, in effect, disappearing. Most often this 
trend involved a rejection or denial of childhood inno- 
cence. This "end of innocence"- was marked by hyper- 
sexualization of the media, clothing, and consequendy, 
of children themselves as they gained increased access 
to the "world of adult information."^ Children now pos- 
sessed previously im obtainable knowledge. They became 
"knowing children" with "bodies and passions of their 
own," bodies and passions formerly the exclusive prop- 
erty of adults.^ Thus, toward the end of the twentieth 
century, children escaped or were patendy and perhaps 
irrevocably "expelled from the garden of childhood,""^ a 
garden they had inhabited for nearly two centuries. 

The incarnations of Carroll's Alice books during 
this period reflect changes in 
both interpretations of child- 
hood and in modern technolo- 
gies. Some of the most interest- 
ing versions of Alice of the late 
1980s and 1990s were created 
in media other than traditional 
book illustration. Jan Svank- 
majer's 1988 film Alice, Anna 
Gaskell's photographic series 
"Wonder" of 1996, and the 
2000 computer game American 
McGee's Alice reveal not only 
this change in choice of media, 
but also the pervasive change 
in attitude toward children 
that accompanied the close of 
the twentieth century. Jan Svankmajer; Mice, 1 

Jan Svankmajer's Alice is unlike any previous at- 
tempt at cinematizing Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. 
It is less an overt homage to Carroll's story than a vi- 
sualization of Svankmajer's attitudes toward his own 
childhood. Svankmajer wrote that he was interested in 
a "dialogue with his own childhood. Childhood is my 
alter-ego."'^ He had had a traumatic childhood and re- 
treated into a fantasy world. His Alice also creates for 
herself a world of fantasy, one that often seems more 
nightmarish than wonderful. Alice, herself unremark- 
able in appearance with blue eyes and blonde hair, 
morphs from human child to haunting porcelain doll 
and large papier-mache sarcophagus. The film overall 
is disturbing, dark, and extremely grotesque. It is full of 
allusions to Carroll's stories, yet they are strangely un- 
familiar: "one has the unsettling sense of watching an 
old and well-remembered dream in a new and disturb- 
ing state of hallucination."^ Alice envisions and inhab- 
its a Wonderland devoid of any wonder. Her journey 
begins in a decrepit garden shed replete with images 

of death, decay, 
and sexual matu- 
ration, images that 
reappear and reso- 
nate throughout 
the film. 

Symbols of 
death and images 
of decay render 
Svankmajer's Alice 
surreal and night- 
marish. Alice's 
upon encounter- 
ing knives, skele- 
tons, broken glass, 
insects, apple 
cores, and dead 

leaves suggests that she was introduced at a young age 
to the concept of death and is apathetic in the face of 
pervasive decay. We as audience want Alice to react in 
horror: we want her to betray childish innocence and 
fright. We expect our children to do so, but Svank- 
majer offers us an alternative Alice: a child who is 
unaccustomed but indifferent to the disturbing world 
around her because death has already entered her 
subconscious in her dreams. 

Svankmajer's Alice also wanders aimlessly through 
the process of sexual maturation. Though Alice does 
not physically develop during the course of the film, 
Svankmajer's inclusion of sexual imagery puts a very 
twentieth-century twist on Carroll's theme of grow- 
ing up. Throughout the film we see Alice repeatedly 
turning on a light bulb, as if trying to bring herself 
out of the dark ignorance of childhood and into the 
knowingness of adulthood. A geometric triangle and 
a cave serve as symbols of Alice's burgeoning female- 
ness, while ticking clocks remind us of her maturation 
over time. She pokes herself, and straw-filled socks 
slither in and out of holes in the wooden floor: both 
incidents suggest impending penetration. Even more 
sexually suggestive are Alice's repeated attempts at 
opening a wooden drawer. Each time, the knob pops 
off into Alice's hand, and she is flung backwards. Even- 
tually she grasps the knob and successfully opens the 
drawer: she has been opened up into a state of sexual 
maturity. This sexualization of Alice is disturbing in 
light of her obvious youth. I suggest that Svankmajer's 
juxtaposition of frequent sexual imagery and Alice's 
childlike countenance make his film particularly un- 
settling, but also extremely timely. 

As noted earlier, as the twentieth century ap- 
proached its end, visualizations of Alice were no 
longer relegated exclusively to the sphere of book 
illustration — traditionally considered a low art. With 

Svankmajer's art house film, and as we will see, Anna 
Gaskell's 1996 photographic series, "Wonder," Alice 
images are now found within the evolution of con- 
temporary high art. Gaskell is both trendy and highly 
regarded, with her photographs selling for as much 
as $12,000. These transformations in the media and 
audience for representations of Alice suggest a trend 
away from Alice's appearance only in marginal art 
forms toward an increasing standardization of con- 
cepts embodied in the character. 

Loosely based on the Alicehooks, Gaskell's "Won- 
der" series reinvents the stories for contemporary 
times. A set of brunette, adolescent twins, Gaskell's 
Alices wear white dresses with blue pinafores that 
smugly reference Disney's Alice. But Gaskell's Won- 
derland is her own, and emphatically not Carroll's. 
The photographs are allegoric rather than narra- 
tive. She rarely reveals Alice's entire face, a choice 
of framing that suggests an interest not so much in 
Alice herself, but in what she, and the child of the 
late nineties, represents. Gaskell's dramatic use of 
cropping and perspective also imbues Alice with an 
intense physicality and monumental presence. In one 
photograph, Alice sits in the grass, picking flowers. 
Her Mary Jane-clad foot appears to extend into the 
viewer's space. It is huge compared to Alice's face, the 
only parts of which we can see being her mouth, chin, 
and part of her nose. This monumentality represents 
an acknowledgment of forces previously repressed in 
childhood. Children are no longer passive objects of 
sentiment; they now have personality and agency. In 
their juxtaposition of exaggeratedly childlike cloth- 
ing, monumental figures, and symbolic portrayals of 
sexual awakening, Gaskell's photographs present us 
with a childhood that, despite its youthful, innocent 
fagade, is in fact the exclusive domain of girls who are 
physically present, active, and powerful. 

Jan Svankmajer, Alice, 1988 

Gaskell's photographs are "spooky, playful, psy- 
chologically loaded""* vignettes that are extremely 
candid in their staged quality. Visually striking, the 
photographs are a triumph of intense color and at- 
mospheric lighting that renders the world vivid and 
surreal. Her images are a voyeuristic window onto the 
strange world of children, who themselves are strange 
creatures connected through complex and often am- 
biguous relationships. Gaskell's Alices appear stuffed 
uncomfortably into their childish costumes, clearly 
ready to move on from childhood. Her photographs 
depict adolescents in the process of their transforma- 
tion into sexually mature women. In Carroll's story, 
after swimming in the Pool of Tears, Alice joins the 
Dodo and the Mouse in their Caucus Race. In Gas- 

kell's corresponding photograph, one Alice gives 
mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to her twin. But the 
image has explicitly erotic undertones. The spectator 
is thrust into an extremely close encounter with these 
sexually charged adolescents. 

Another photograph depicts the Alices lying next 
to each other in "Sapphic serenity," while in yet another 
one, Alice provocatively puts an egg into her mouth. "De- 
mure crotch shots" and one of Alice unabashedly lifting 
her dress "focus prominendy on the timelessly suggestive 
combination of white tights and Mary Janes. "^ Gaskell's 
close-ups thus remind us of our contemporary preoccu- 
pation with the eroticized body. 

Her photographs also reflect the psychologi- 
cal anxiety that characterized growing up in the late 

Anna Gaskell, Untitled, "Wonder," 1996 

Anna Gaskell, Untitled, "Wonder," 1996 

Anna Gaskell, Untitled, "Wonder, " 1996 

twentieth century. Claustrophobic spaces, disorient- 
ing camera angles, and stark lighting together create 
the artificial and anxiety-producing quality that char- 
acterizes her images. "Wonder" depends for its effect 
upon implication rather than explicit presentation, 
ambiguity rather than clarity, and opacity rather than 

Gaskell's decision to portray Alice as a set of 
identical twins is a significant element of her photo- 
graphs. Her use of twins suggests an end to Alice as 
a lone figure isolated in Wonderland. She has multi- 
plied in both presence and power. Two years later, in 
her 1998 series "override," Gaskell expanded Alice's 
power by representing Alice as a group of girls, all 
dressed identically. In "override," Gaskell explores 

the interactions among Alices. As in "Wonder," these 
Alices are active agents, yet in "override" they victim- 
ize each other and illustrate the dramatic and some- 
times brutal interactions that result when children 
act upon one another. 

Both series illustrate, through the appropria- 
tion of one of the most emblematic and recognizable 
characters in fiction, the disappearance of childhood 
and the increasingly strange and frightening transi- 
tion to adolescence. The passage from childhood to 
adulthood is no longer one from innocence to knowl- 
edge, but from suppressed knowledge to unbridled 
exhibition of that knowledge. Gaskell's Alices are "no 
heavenly creatures." They embody internally what 
Svankmajer's Alice encountered externally. Gaskell's 

Anna Gaskell, Untitled, "Wonder, " 1996 

American McGee's Alice, 2000 

"Wonder" series manifests in visual form "America's 
nightmare: it's [sic] sacred children deflowered, rot- 
ting, and threatening."'" 

If Gaskell's children aesthetically and beautifully 
suggest that today's children are threatening, the 
2000 computer game American McGee's Alice throws it 
in our face. Juxtaposed with Tenniel's Alice, we see in 
this radically new Alice how far we have come from 
the Victorian ideal of pure, innocent childhood. 

The premise of the game is that Alice has re- 
turned from Wonderland and gone mad. Upon 
her release from a mental institution, where she 
attempted to kill herself, she returns to Wonder- 
land to destroy, with various unsavory "toys," all of 
its inhabitants. Alice is no longer able to deny the 

Cheshire Cat's claim that "We're all mad here. I'm 
mad. You're mad." 

One reviewer describes Alice as "wielding an im- 
mense, glittering carving knife, gazing at it lovingly . . . 
considering its potential for mayhem. Her face bears 
an expression of restrained malevolence. She wears 
an upside-down cross. Blood drips from the scen- 
ery."" This Alice also has sexual undertones, though 
these may not be obvious to everyone. The game's 
creators appropriated the universally recognized 
Alice costume, thus evoking associations with both 
the original text and the Disney movie. However, her 
straight red hair, pale face, catlike green eyes, and 
black bondage boots give her a Goth countenance. 
As an edgier, scarier version of the child robbed of 

American McGee's Alice, 2000 




American McGee's Alice, 2000 


her innocence, Alice's physical appearance and the- 
matic associations make her highly sexualized for the 
underground Goth community. 

The game has transfigured a journey through 
Carroll's wonderfully witty imagination into an "ex- 
ploration of the naughty joy of murder by a demented 
antihero," a game containing "material not suitable 
for those under the age of 18."'- Alice is an adolescent 
killer who suggests that graphic violence is a seductive 
solution and perverse pleasure. Today's angst-ridden 
teenagers and children see the blood-drenched game 
as an outlet for their trendy inner torment and Goth- 
induced melancholy. Increased juvenile violence and 
graphic images on television and in movies have de- 
sensitized many of today's youth. They crave violent 
computer games like Alice and the perverse thrill they 
derive from them. This digitized incarnation of Alice 
no doubt conforms to the redefinition of and uncer- 
tainty toward childhood at the turn of last century. 
American McGee takes Carroll's heroine "and gratu- 
itously twists her into a weapon-wielding vigilante. It's 
a ham-handed play for profit through sensationalism 
and controversy."'^ Does this Alice represent exploita- 
tion of the digital medium and of contemporary ob- 
sessions? Or is she in fact an accurate prediction of 
where childhood is headed if it continues its present 
downward spiral? With the inevitable aid of games 
and movies such as Alice, for as long as today's atti- 
tudes toward children and adolescents hold sway, 
society's youth will continue to "become alien crea- 
tures, a threat to civilization rather than its hope and 
potential salvation."'^ 

The very qualities that made the Victorian child 
society's "hope and salvation" turned "out to be highly 
susceptible to commercialization."''^ Innocence 
proved too fragile to withstand the onslaught of pro- 
paganda, movies, advertisements, and other images 
that assailed childhood at the end of the twentieth 
century. That which was implicit in the Victorian 
child has become explicit: sexuality. However, when 
thinking about recent changes in representations of 
childhood, one must bear in mind that the age of 
childhood innocence was not without its inherent dif- 
ficulties. During the Romantic and Victorian eras, 
only the most affluent children could hope for a 

childhood in line with the ideal. Working-class chil- 
dren were exploited and brutally mistreated in facto- 
ries and workhouses. What brought about the exploi- 
tation of children and adolescents that is pervasive 
today? Did the media shatter our ideal of a pure child- 
hood, or did children shatter it themselves? Was the 
wave of child worship that swept the mid-nineteenth 
to mid-twentieth centuries a mere digressive phase or 
a temporary detour that led to childhood's ultimate 
destiny? In any case, Alice's dark side has surfaced, 
and only time will tell what will follow. The child has 
disappeared, and we have returned to the miniature 
adult, albeit in extremely different form, of the world 
prior to the nineteenth century. 

^ Anne Higonnet, Pictures of Innocence : The History and 

Crisis of Ideal Childhood (London: Thames and Hudson 

Ltd, 1998), pp. 123-24. 
^ Harry Hendrick, Child, Childhood, and English Society, 

1880-1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 

1997), p. 94. 
' Hendrick, p. 94. 

* Higonnet, p. 207. 
^ Hendrick, p. 95. 

'^ Philip Strick, "Alice," Monthly Film Bulletin, No. 658, 

Nov. 1988, pp. 319-20. 
' Strick. 

* Carol Squiers, "Anna in Wonderland," American Photo, 
11:1 c. 1996, p. 34. 

* Howard Halle, "Next Wave: Four Emerging 

Photographers," On Paper, 2:4, 1998, p. 35. 
'" Jalouse Magazine, 

" Josh Mandel, "Go Ask Alice," 

(Feb. 26, 2003). 
'- Mandel. 
'^ Mandel. 
'^ Hendrick, p. 95. 
'^ Higgonet, p. 194. 

Victoria included this note loith her final installment: 

"Thank you again for this xuonderful opportunity I'm so 

glad that I have been able to share my work with the mem- 
bers of the LCSNA. " We can only respond by saying thank 
you^ Victoria, for sharing this entertaining and illuminat- 
ing series of essays with our members. - Ed. 



A selection of satirical essays on Alice's Adventures in Inania 
in the nineteen sixties and seventies, with the Bull as her cicerone 


With these three short stories, we conclude our reprinting of 
Jamila Verghese's Indian satires, all of which are copyright 
Jamila Verghese. For the dates of the original publications, 
please see KL 79, p. 16. - Ed. 


"Do you want to tell me what you have learnt about 
Inania ixp to now?" asked the Bull, looking over his 
horn-rimmed spectacles at Alice. Alice cleared her 
throat nervously. "I hope I remember everything cor- 
rectly," she said. "I do so want to be able to tell Dinah 
everything. She's a very exceptional Cat is Dinah." 

"Well?" said the Bull expectantly. 

Alice clasped her hands behind her back, shut her 
eyes and began in a sing-song voice, "Inanians stand 
upside down when thinking about Problems, as this 
is the way they have been taught to think and act, but 
Young Bulls with New Fangled Ideas stand the right 
side up. To Get On In Life, Inanians use a lot of Right 
Contacts and Grease. Grease is important as marga- 
rine would never do. The Guiding Principles of Ina- 
nian business are — Each One Fleece One and Never 
Do In One Hour What Can Be Spread Over Three 
Days. All correct?" she looked excitedly at the Bull. 

"Quite correct," murmured the Bull approvingly. 
"You'll make a star pupil yet!" Alice smiled happily. 
"What's that?" she asked as a strange song floated to- 
wards them. Four fishlike gentlemen stood fin to fin 
in the distance singing — 

Black is Beautiful: O Beautiful is Black! 

You can keep your white, dears: we want only Black. 

"Whatever can they mean?" puzzled Alice. The 
Bull smiled indulgently up at her. (As a good Inanian 
he was, naturally, standing upside down!) "That," he 
said, "is the Song of the Sharks. They work from 9 to 
5, and they are practicing for The Performance." 
"Sharks?" asked Alice, and indeed the strange-look- 
ing gentlemen did appear more and more like sharks 
the closer Alice got to them. As they saw Alice, the 
Sharks came up and standing fin to fin sang — 

D'you want a plot? A lovely plot? 
D'you need a bit of land? 
We'll see it doesn't cost a lot — 
See here, we've got The Plan! 

"I don't really want a plot in Inania," said Alice. "I 
don't think I'd quite fit in, but I could get one for Dinah. 
She'd love it. She's so marvelously inane herself." 

"It's sixty/forty," muttered the Bull discourag- 
ingly. "Surely not," said Alice, looking at her watch, 
"it's ten twenty." The Sharks exchanged glances and 
surrounded Alice singing — 

It's sixty and it's forty, but now it's time for tea. 
We don't discuss a ratio until we've all had tea! 

Alice thought it strange that no one could do any- 
thing important before tea, but she took the steaming 
cup from the little dog called Sidekick and sipped it 
gratefully. She waited politely until the biggest Shark 
had wiped his mouth and then said, "Excuse me, sir, 
but I simply have to know what sixty/ forty means!" 

The Sharks were all ingratiating smiles now and 
they kept their sharp teeth well covered. "They only 
talk in poetic riddles," whispered the Bull sharply to 
Alice. "They'll be very annoyed if you interrupt." Alice 
nodded. The Sharks were singing again — 

It's easy now that we have had 

our little cups of tea 
for us to reason and talk on relativity: 
You give us forty lovely black and shiny notes, 

you see, 
and also sixty snow white notes to buy 

your property. 
And for your sixty snow white notes a signed 

receipt we'll give: 
but for those forty coal black notes no signatures 

we give — 'cause — 
Black is Beautiful — O Beautiful is Black — 
We need a lot of money for the comforts 

that we lack! 

"D'you mean to tell me," said Alice, who had got 
too angry during the Shark Song to be polite any 
more, "that I have to give you a hundred, and you will 
sign for only sixty? Why that's wicked! It's — it's Quite 
Wrong! I don't think Dinah would want me to get her 
that sort of house!" 

The Sharks' expressions changed. They began 
to hiss at Alice and their sharp teeth began to show. 
"Performance over!" mumbled the Bull as he dragged 
Alice out of their clutches. 


'You see," he puffed as they ran, "it's all Relative. 
Everyone does it, and so we know that it cannot pos- 
sibly be wrong. YOU think it's wrong because YOU 
don't do it, but you're not US, so that makes it Ab- 
solutely Right! Which leads us to the next thing you 
must learn about us — ^What Everyone Does Is Lawful 
And Right!" 

"If I were the King and Queen, I'd behead the 
Sharks," panted Alice angrily. Away in the distance 
she could still hear the Sharks practicing for their 
next Performance — 

Black is Beautiful — O Beautiful is Black! 
To deal in white may be just right. 


A bull's eye view of inanian attitudes 

"We Inanians," said the Bull, "are at our best in the 
upside down position." "Is that the best way to see 
things?" asked Alice, bewildered. "The reason our 
old value system is breaking so satisfactorily around 
us today," continued the Bull, choosing not to no- 
tice the interruption, "is that our new wise ones have 
found us a panacea for all ills. The old wise ones laid 
down rules for a world which functioned up side up. 
Now we know definitely that the world functions up- 
side down. You understand?" 

"Ye-es," said Alice. She didn't of course, but she 
was too polite to offend the Bull. "Is that why all those 
people are sitting talking so seriously to each other, 
down side up?" she asked. "Quite," said the Bull. 
"Those are our Inanian thinkers and formulators of 
how things should be. They are the up side downers 
of our glorious land." 

"Could you please help me to understand these 
new ideas?" asked Alice eagerly. 

"Hmm. . ." muttered the Bull. "The only trouble is, 
our up side downers may not take too kindly to a for- 
eigner's unnatural interest in our country's affairs. Let 
me see your hand." Alice, completely mystified, held 
out her hand, which the Bull inspected closely from 
every angle. "It certainly doesn't look too foreign," he 
murmured. "It might just pass. No harm in my tell- 
ing her a little about our great Inanian examination 
system I suppose." Alice, who had heard the last few 
words, put the offending hand in her pocket and said, 
"Oh, do tell me. I promise not to tell anyone else." 

"Good," said the Bull, satisfied. "Now, before I 
divulge the secret of our success as a great nation, 
you must first understand that Inanian parents have 
traditionally tried to instill a desire for success into 
their children. Ever since our country's adoption of 
the new think calendar, these children have been in- 
spired by the personal example of their parents into 
emulating each other in the art of making it big. They 
study subjects like double dealing, corruption in little 

things, and living unto oneself. Every Inanian child 
knows by now that the pursuit of knowledge is use- 
less, self is supreme, and that others are there to be 
used for his own advancement." 

"Gracious," said Alice. The Bull glowered. "Love 
for one's offspring," he went on, "especially for a 
male child, the mainstay of one's later years, is the 
very foundation of our Inanian tradition. This maxim 
also applies to relatives, teachers, and friends who 
may depend on the child's success for their own ad- 
vancement. Now — do you see that swarm of parents, 
teachers, and relatives scurrying about like ants, try- 
ing to scale the walls of that school building?" 

"Oh yes!" cried Alice excitedly. "I can see a man 
rushing out of the door with a paper, and there's 
someone else trying to give money to a man." 

"My dear, you are getting first hand experience 
of the functioning of our system," smiled the Bull. 
"That is the question paper being sneaked out of the 
examination hall." 

"But who are those people who look like teach- 
ers frantically writing on papers ... and who are all 
those snatching the papers and running to the school 
door?" shouted Alice anxiously. 

"Calm down, m'dear. Those are teachers writing 
the correct answers to the question papers being distrib- 
uted in the hall. These will help their proteges to pass 
their examinations with flying colors bringing fame and 
honor to their devoted teachers, don't you see?" 

Alice gasped. "But that man giving money to the ..." 

"That, child, is a parent, practicing the fine art of 
bribery on a GOL — Guardian of the Law. The GOL 
understands these things as he too has children. This 
is something you may not find so openly practiced in 
your own and other backward civilizations, but here in 
our advanced way of thinking, it is considered the ulti- 
mate test, calling for the supreme sacrifice — the final 
destruction of the old ways. These hard-won pieces 
of paper are messengers of hope going through an 
understanding person who may sometimes accept a 
small remuneration for taking an assurance of a par- 
ent's love and a teacher's support to a child battling 
against heavy odds." 

"But — but that's plain cheating!" exclaimed Alice 
indignantly. "Cheating?" snorted the Bull. "This is 
love in action — interdependence! The child reposes 
faith in his support system. Are parents, teachers, and 
friends to let him down, considering his future and 
theirs depends on their devotion in his hour of need?" 
The Bull's brow darkened as he noticed a commotion 
in the crowd and some arrests being made. "It is only 
the corrupt old system that stands in their way," he 
shouted agitatedly. "But we shall overcome!" 

"Please don't misunderstand," pleaded Alice. "It's 
just that I've been brought up so differently, and — " 

"That's all right," said the Bull magnanimously. 
"It's not your fault. We too went through the dark 


ages, but we are becoming liberated from old speak 
now. One day you too will understand." 
"I expect so," said Alice uncertainly. 


"What fun!" said Alice, clapping her hands delight- 
edly. " I adore blackouts! Mother has told me so much 
about them. Isn't it too, too exciting?" 

"Very," assented the Bull, solemnly adjusting his 
spectacles as he blinked against the sudden dark- 
ness. The siren's incessant wail brought the entire 
Inanian population out onto the roads. Cars and 
cycles nudged each other companionably and next- 
door-neighbors' irritations were swallowed up in the 
friendly darkness. In fact, to Alice it seemed as if the 
whole place had come alive with Inanians in a holiday 

"Hey man!" whispered a passing wolf into Alice's 
left ear, "Whadd'ya say we have a party?" 

"I'm NOT a man!" said Alice sharply. I'm a 

"Groovy! Groovy!" yelled a long-haired Young 
Bull as he gamboled past. "What's-a-difference?" 

"Darling," breathed a large shadow on Alice's right. 
'Your blackout paper is a sensation! Wherever did you 
get it? Mine never seems to match my curtains!" 

"Were you talking to me?" asked Alice politely. 

"No, I was not," said the elegantly curved buffalo. 
"Who are you? I can't even see you, child, you're so 
inconspicuously dressed!" 

"I'm Alice," said Alice, putting our her hand. 
"I'm wearing a dark dress because of the blackout, 
you know. That's why you can't see me. Why do you 
wear white? You shouldn't, you know. You stand out 
in it." 

"Of course I do! What a strange child it is! Why 
else does one wear white in a blackout? You are obvi- 
ously a foreigner," she sighed, pityingly. "We Inanians 
like to be noticed. Everyone with any Sense does!" 

"But the Enemy can spot you, and Mother said 
the bombs..." 

"Bombs? What bombs? Don't be silly, child!" 

"Come on," said the Bull, peering myopically 
through the dark, "The Entertainment is about to 

"Entertainment?" asked Alice excitedly. 

"The bombing of course, silly girl! That's what 
the whole blackout is for ... to entertain the Inanian 
public in the silly season when nothing else is on! 

Do you want to volunteer? They need people in the 
Wounded Crowd scenes." 

"Oh no!" said Alice hastily. "I'd be terrible. I'm 
not a good actress at all. They never used me in school 
plays. I always ruined them," she added, apologeti- 
cally. They scurried along with the crowds to where 
two planes were already letting off crackers to the in- 
tense enjoyment of the delighted Inanians. 

A "bomb" was dropped on a thatched hut in a 
clearing and the flames leapt up lighting hundreds of 
animated faces. The "wounded" animals were having 
the time of their lives being rushed to hospital, while 
the Inanian Fire Brigade rushed up ringing bells 
cheerily and trained hoses squirting powerful jets of 
water on the whooping animals. 

In the jolly commotion marched The King's Own 
Guards shouting through loudspeakers, "Inanians, 
keep calm and take cover. No vehicles are permitted 
on the roads!" 

"Why do they have to do that?" said Alice. 
"They're spoiling all the fun!" 

"They don't mean it seriously," said the Bull, 
chewing placidly. "It's all part of The Game. The 
Rules say — The People Shall Take Cover And Keep 
Off The Roads In Case Of Attack. No one ever lis- 
tens. It's all right!" 

"Attack?" asked Alice, wide-eyed. "But I thought 
all this was good fun! Who will attack whom?" 

"W-e-1-1," said the Bull, his spectacles nearly 
knocked off his nose by a dancing Weasel. "They 
might! So one should be prepared!" 

"But . . . but won't the King and Queen stop that?" 
asked Alice, beginning to wish she were safe at home 

"Of course they will," soothed the Bull. "They've 
taken Necessary Measures. Their armies and ours are 
very good at Nose-to-Nose-Warfare — a most exciting 
game where the first side to scratch its ears is bombed. 
Civilian Inanians are doing their bit and buying plots 
of land nine by four instead of houses in the latest 
Own Your Own Trench Scheme. In fact, tomorrow 
morning I'll take you to an All Inania Open Trench 
Interior Decoration Exhibition where the Princess 
herself will explain how a trench can be made com- 
fortable as well as attractive with plumbing, air condi- 
tioning, and flower arrangements." 

"Inania's a terrific country," said Alice, bewil- 

"Sure," said the Bull, spitting some very red juice 
expertly at the corner of a building. 


Knightledd Carroll 


■^^^^^ question that is sometimes asked about 
^^^^ Lewis Carroll is why he wasn't knighted, es- 
M. A.pecially considering that Queen Victoria 

did knight John Tenniel. She did, but visual art and 
music were considered "higher" art forms than litera- 
ture, and, for that matter, "serious" art was considered 
"higher" than work that was popular and/or comic. 
Victoria knighted Arthur Sullivan, too, ostensibly for 
his serious music. She didn't knight W. S. Gilbert. (Ed- 
ward VII did, but there were important shifts by then 
in what was considered appropriate for knighthood.) 
Almost all of the major Victorian writers went un- 
knighted — and most of them had much larger bodies 
of work than did Carroll. The list of the knightless 
includes Dickens, Thackeray, Ruskin, Carlyle, Brown- 
ing (and Mrs. Browning), Trollope, Conrad, and 
George Eliot (of course, her private life no doubt 
would have disqualified her, and, in any case, there 
was a reluctance at the time to give titles to women, 
although Baroness Burdett-Coutts, the first woman to 
get a peerage in her own right, got one for her phil- 
anthropic work) . Disraeli and Bulwer-Lytton got their 
titles for their political activities, not for their writing. 
The two writers who did get titles for their writing 
were Tennyson and Scott, and they weren't just major 
writers — they were major writers who were felt by 
their readers to have embodied the spirit of the age 
in a way that other equally important writers hadn't. 
Maybe if Carroll had lasted a few years more, Edward 
would have thought of him, as he did of Gilbert and 
of Arthur Conan Doyle, although ostensibly — an- 
other ostensibly — Edward knighted Doyle for his his- 
tory of the Boer War, not for Holmes) . 

Doyle felt considerable doubt as to whether he 
should accept such an award. It seemed to him that 
knighthoods were essentially a government award for 
government service, and that the few exceptions sug- 
gested nagging by the honoree more than any special 
merit. Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters (ed. Jon Lel- 
lenberg, Daniel Stashower, and Charles Foley, London 
and New York: Penguin Press, 2007) includes his 1902 
letter to his mother, who had urged him to accept a 
knighthood if offered one. He replied: "Surely you 
don't really mean that I should take a knighthood — 
the badge of the provincial mayor... . [RJemember 
that it is the silently understood thing in the world 

that the big men — outside diplomacy and the army 
where it is a sort of professional badge, do not conde- 
scend to such things. Not that I am a big man, but I 
have that within me which revolts at the thought. 
Fancy Rhodes or Chamberlain or Kipling doing such 
a thing! and why should my standards be any lower 
than theirs.... All my work for the State would be 
tainted if I took a so-called reward" (p. 494). 

Doyle was not alone in such a view; quoted in the 
same book is an article by Andrew Lang: "Honors for 
literary men are rare. There was Scott's baronetcy; he 
wanted it (as a man of family with feudal principles, 
not as a man of letters) and he got it. It is probable 
that several men of letters have managed to decline 
official honors. When Lord Tennyson accepted grace- 
fully what his sovereign gracefully and gratefully gave, 
some literary persons 'booed' at him. The great poet 
neither coveted nor churlishly refused official recog- 
nition. To him the matter, we may believe, was purely 
indifferent. And it really is indifferent to most men of 
letters. Knighthoods, as a common rule, come to the 
beknighted because of their much asking, except 
when they come in an official routine, in the public 
service. Having nothing official about us, having no 
routine, we cannot look to receiving ribbons and or- 
ders" ("Literary Life in London," North American Re- 
view, ]une 1898, quoted p. 495). Doyle's mother man- 
aged to convince him that it would in fact be 
"churlishly" rude of him to refuse, and when knight- 
hood was offered him in June 1902 he accepted, and 
was duly knighted on October 24 — but he relieved 
his feelings quietly in the 1925 Holmes story "The Ad- 
venture of the Three Garridebs," set in June 1902, 
where he has Watson comment, "I remember the 
date very well, for it was in the same month that Hol- 
mes refused a knighthood for services which may per- 
haps some day be described." 

J. M. Barrie wound up not just a knight but a bar- 
onet (under George V), but even now, few writers get 
such recognition. To some extent, what they get in- 
stead is the Order of the British Empire (as recently 
with J. K. Rowling), but that wasn't available in Car- 
roll's time (George started it during World War I). 
Knighthoods were fine for the chessboard, but it is 
unlikely that Carroll would have considered himself a 


DmwH^ Treacle Weii 

Some Tliougi^ abouPilkis^ 


The following is Oleg's lecture as presented at the LCSNA's 
spring meeting. Please see the review on page 43 for infor- 
mation on ordering a copy of Oleg's limited edition. - Ed. 

I want to thank you all for the invitation. First of 
all, I'm a poor speaker, so I'm grateful in advance 
for your attention, willingness to listen, and pa- 
tience. However, it seems to me that I was not invited 
due to my skills in front of a microphone, but more 
as an exotic fish, which most of us artists are. Well, 
I'll try not to provide you with the "driest thing I 
know." The reason I'm here is because I've illustrated 
and designed my recently published book, Alice's Ad- 
ventures in Wonderland, a limited edition — one that 
some of you already own or are familiar with. 


Let's begin with the histoi^ of my interaction with this 
book. I started illustrating Alice 2ihout ... let's say — a 
long time ago. I remember my first sketches and 
drafts, but I don't have them anymore. It seems that 
they no longer exist. I've found several, which look as 
if they were made before or maybe during "the first 
series." Anyway, they are qixite early. But I'd say the 
actual story begins with my first attempt to complete 
the whole sequence of drawings all in the same style. 
My first series was made as black-and-white drawings. 
I used pen and black ink back then. 

I made about forty "big" (15x9 cm) drawings in 
this technique and a lot of small character drawings. 
Because I had no deadlines to meet, nor any art di- 
rector's instructions, I was not in a hurry to complete 
the series. I was not obliged to fit somebody's scheme. 
But this series remained unfinished... 

The reason I stopped working on the first series 
was that my friends kept telling me that my black-and- 
white graphics were too dark, noir, and overall unsuit- 
able for a children's book. Oh, boy! How these gen- 
eral "opinions" can affect one's life, creativity, etc. 

So after a while, I returned to this theme, but I 
changed my technique to one that I thought would 
attract a young audience. I started to draw using col- 
ored pencils, and applying the airbrush here and 
there. There were a good many pictures made, mostly 

portraits of characters. But after a while I stopped 
working on those as well; the pictures were good in 
nature, but weren't exactly the kind that I intended. 
Here my progress on the illustrations halted, even 
though a good number of sketches and preliminary 
works had already been made. I still thought of Alice 
in a less colored scheme. 

I have to note that when I began to work on Al- 
ices illustrations, I had in mind Alice SiS translated into 
Russian by Nina Demurova. It's a great translation, 
intelligent, and very close to Carroll's spirit. Like any 
other good translation, it related to local folklore, to 
Russian tradition. For example, Mouse and Caterpil- 
lar in Russian by default are female. The pair cats - 
bats is turned into: KOlUKM - M0U1K\A/ koshki - moshki 
(koshki 2ire cats, and moshki sltc small, annoying, flying 
bugs), and so on. 

Apart from the change in technique and style, 
another thing that changed was my view of Alice. I re- 
read her story several times, each time finding vari- 
ous perspectives that I hadn't seen before. Eventu- 
ally I started to read the book in its original English 
language. It wasn't that I was not satisfied with the 
translation, just that I had studied English and was 
ready to read the story in its original language. Some 
of the characters remained the same since the first 
sketches; others changed in accordance with my un- 
derstanding of the story or by comparison with the 
original English text. After that, I put this work aside 
for several years. 


Following the text carefully is a key rule for the illus- 
trator's work. You can find a lot of interesting things 
that way. But what if the author does not give the il- 
lustrator enough material to work with? What if he 
doesn't care to describe the scene's characters? With 
Alice, this happens quite often. It's like illustrating 
"IT" You know what "IT" means, right? 

I dare to say that Lewis Carroll often didn't point 
out or explain details. It doesn't undermine the qual- 
ity of Carroll's texts, because the main value of the 
story is in the characters' interactions and dialogues. 
The rest (details, circumstances, settings, and de- 


scriptions) is made up by our imagination. The illus- 
trator's job is to illustrate the story in his or her own 
image, but at the same time not to contradict details 
given by Carroll. When I say Lewis Carroll doesn't de- 
scribe the characters in detail, I'm only talking about 
the book's text. There are also the letters that Lewis 
Carroll sent to John Tenniel that have descriptions of 
characters and even some hints as to how the charac- 
ters should be illustrated. 

We have several examples of Carroll's descriptions 
of characters: Dodo, Eaglet, Lory, Duck, and other cu- 
rious creatures — birds with bedraggled feathers, and 
animals — wet too. We 
first meet the Mouse in 
the second chapter. It 
continues in the story 
until the end of the 
third chapter, and only 
then do we find out 
that the Mouse is a he. 
The Magpie is old. The 
Crab is old too, with a 
young daughter. Pat is 
a mysterious creature; 
it is only his voice we 
hear. The Caterpillar 
is large (three inches 
high), with its arms 
folded. Alice calls the 
Caterpillar "Sir," so we 
automatically assume 
that the Caterpillar is 
a he. 

One of the per- The Duchess and the pre-porcine infant 
sons to whom Lewis 
Carroll pays a bit 

more attention is the Duchess. Let's take a closer look 
at her. In the first scene, there isn't even a hint of her 
appearance, she is full of pretence, and we can only 
imagine what her true character is like by looking at 
her actions, and analyzing her dialogue and speech. 
She is such an ignorant and unfriendly person, and 
a persistent fighter — she doesn't pay attention to the 
pepper in the air, or the dishes thrown at her. She 
makes her remarks with a "sudden violence." And, 
of course, she shows an absolutely cynical attitude to- 
wards the baby. 

The next scene where the Duchess appears is the 
"Queen's Croquet-Ground." This time her behavior 
is quite different; her speech when addressing Alice 
has now become rather sweet. We see an experienced 
court-lady, who can speak very sweetly if she feels 
that the person she speaks to is important (we know 
that Alice was invited to the Queen's croquet game, 
and that means something). We remember how she 
treated Alice when Alice was just a stranger to her. 
In fact, she is trying to be so sweet that she is ready 

to hug Alice around her waist (which she doesn't do, 
being aware of the flamingo in Alice's arms). 

Here for the first time we get a few words regard- 
ing her appearance. First of all, she's very "ugly." Sec- 
ondly, she has an "uncomfortably sharp chin," and 
lastly, "she was exactly the right height to rest her chin 
upon Alice's shoulder" — so she wasn't taller than Alice. 
And that is all that is said about her appearance. Those 
are the details thatmight help an illustrator — obviously 
not too many. 

The Ugly Duchess has quite a history in illustra- 
tion. Sir John Tenniel created her image based on the 

portrait A Grotesque Old 
Woman (1513), by the 
Flemish artist Quentin 
Massys. It isn't exactly 
the same, but the influ- 
ence is very obvious. 
Actually, Massys's por- 
trait in its turn was in- 
fluenced by a Leonar- 
do da Vinci sketch. 

I wish to point out 
that Sir John Tenniel's 
Duchess is undoubtedly 
ugly, but her ugliness is 
straightforward — it is 
an ugliness of old age, 
an old, wrinkly, male- 
shaped face. I think 
that this way is too cli- 
ched. From my obser- 
vations, the human 
face's attractiveness is 
quite a tricky subject. 
Very often beauty and 
ugliness differ only due to the existence of a small 
feature (s). The perfect example to me would be the 
famous movie star Ms. X, who is beautiful because 
of the camera, makeup, and a properly set up light. 
But every now and then, these conditions (or one of 
them) fail to perform their function. It is at these mo- 
ments when you look at her and realize, "Oh my God, 
she's plain ugly!" 

Generally, when drawing my version of the Duch- 
ess, I didn't invent anything. My Duchess is taken 
from real life: this type of face, nose, etc. The kind of 
person everybody has met so I hope that Lewis Car- 
roll would have approved of my version of this char- 
acter. At least, I'm guessing that Carroll didn't mean 
the image of Quentin Massys's portrait when he wrote 
his Duchess. 

Sometimes Carroll does eventually describe the 
details of a scene — personalities, objects, and set- 
tings — but not right away. As I have already explained 
in the case of the Duchess, in order to be able to 
imagine her, one has to read the second scene in 


which she appears. But how are we supposed to view 
her in the first scene? It's good that she is called a 
"Duchess," as it gives us the hint that she's wearing a 
duchess's costume. One of the main jobs of the illus- 
trator is to show what Carroll will describe later on or 
will not describe at all. 

The Ugly Duchess's personality was carried over 
into the second book, but as a different character: the 
Red Queen. They have a lot in common; evidently the 
same prototype was used for both the characters. This 
is meaningless to most readers until they start read- 
ing the second book. However, to an illustrator who 
wants to understand the character more deeply, this 
relationship is quite evident. They are both addicted 
to using hyperbole: when Alice said, "I can't quite fol- 
low it as you say it," the Duchess replied, "That's noth- 
ing to what I could say if I chose." Compare this to 
Looking-Glass: When Alice said, "I thought I'd try and 
find my way to the top of that hill," the Red Queen an- 
swered, "When you say hill, I could show you hills, in 
comparison with which you'd call that a valley." Both 
of them also like to teach Alice, and seek out the moral 
in every situation, conversation, or anything at all. 

Now let's talk about the surroundings in which 
the action takes place. For example, everything that 
happens to Alice, the Gryphon, and the Mock Turtle 
is usually drawn on the seashore. Why? Carroll only 
gives two details to describe the setting, but not a 
single word about any seashore. Whoops! Sir John 
Tenniel used the "Lobster Quadrille" poem's circum- 
stances for this scene, and almost every illustrator 
then followed his lead. I, too, followed his tradition in 
my first black-and-white series of illustrations. I even 
drew the Mock Turtle in a seaman's costume. 

However, the more logical setup would be a place 
that is near the wonderful garden, and where the 
Queen can walk freely without guards and courtiers. 
Therefore it would probably take place somewhere 
in the Royal Palace. The Gryphon is sleeping "in the 
sun," but this doesn't explain the setting to us. It could 
be anywhere: on a ship's deck, in a microscopic En- 
glish garden, on the seashore (why not?). Or maybe 
it is on the ledge of the royal chapel. Where else can 
you find Chimeras, Gryphons, and Gargoyles? 

What about the rock on which the Mock Turtle is 
sitting? Why wouldn't we consider the Japanese Gar- 
den of Stones, somewhere in the Royal Palace (a gift 
from the Emperor of Japan, perhaps)? Logically, all 
these places — the wonderful garden, the place where 
the Gryphon lies, and the rock on which the Mock 
Turtle is sitting — have to be near each other. In the 
time it takes Alice to get from one place to another, 
she is only able to exchange a couple of sentences 
with the Queen and then the Gryphon. Even the way 
back the way to the Royal Courtroom (which also has 
to be located in the Royal Palace) isn't too long. 

Lewis Carroll gives the illustrator a lot of free- 
dom. There are many details that aren't given or de- 
scribed. He plays on the imagination of the readers, 
so that everyone's views are unique. At the same time, 
there are many attractive details in his writing. That's 
why everything can be shown differently. 


I absolutely love it when I find a map of the land or 
quest in a book. It usually happens in fantasy or fairy 
tale books. You might remember the map of Middle 
Earth by J. R. R. Tolkien, or the map of Oz, or the 
map of Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland, etc. 
I also wanted to supply Alice With a map of Wonder- 
land, and I even knew the proper location to fit it in. 
I imagined it as an end paper. A map is usually a help- 
ful visual for the reader to follow. But is it possible 
to draw a map of Wonderland, when the settings in 
question are so unrelated to each other, and so vari- 
ous in scale? I even attempted to draw schematics, but 
they were of little help to me. It was an attempt to 
rationalize the irrational. 

Alice is not simply a story, but a project, or rather 
a theatrical project. In this project, Lewis Carroll 
plays the role of screenwriter, director, and producer, 
but John Tenniel has the role of visual designer. As a 
director, Lewis Carroll provides detailed remarks and 
hints to Tenniel. Carroll makes reference to many 
historical facts, physical phenomena, cultural and ev- 
eryday life details. His allusions are endless. All these 
form a very special atmosphere. The story is very vi- 
sual, and at the same time very literary. 

The theatrical side of the story became clearer 
to me. It's broken down into chapters — acts, during 
each of which Alice has dialogues with numerous dif- 
ferent personas. Alice's train of thought is presented 
through various monologues. None of the acts has 
any relation to the others, and each has its own set 
of decorations. "But the principal failing occurred in 
the sailing... " 

So, I gave up on the idea of the map and filled 
the end papers with characters. 


It is time to say some words regarding my final se- 
ries of drawings, those which are in the book. We 
will talk not just about the color scheme. The above- 
mentioned "theatrical" side of the story, along with 
the rich literary context, requires a very special 
graphic manner for the illustrations. There were a lot 
of sketches and drafts done, and finally the solution 
was found. Concerning the style of illustration, I'd 
much rather call it the style of the pages themselves, 
or the style of the layout. The layout is divided into 
three parts, each different in color and content. 


The illustration itself is executed in brown color, 
filled in with ochre watercolor. This image is the 
illustration to the scene. The use of watercolor 
adds to the illustration's character in space, 
atmosphere, and depth. By using the brown 
color in my illustrations, I hoped to create the 
feeling of the sepia tones of old photographs, a 
sort oifleur d'epoque. 

The black-and-white image that surrounds the 
brown illustration is, first of all, a kind of cur- 
tain, as well as the scene's generic decoration. 
Therefore, the motif of drapery was often used. 
It also functions as a frame. Thus, within the 
context of these black-and-white drawings re- 
sides everything that occurred in the scene's 
dialogues, such as cultural and historical refer- 
ences, etc. This drawing is more graphic and 
flat, and even when it contains some details 
rendered in depth, they are no more than a 
slight relief. This is to set it apart from the 
brown illustration, where everything takes place 
in a yellowish atmosphere. In other words, this 
black-and-white drawing acts as a transition be- 
tween the brown illustration and the plain back- 
ground with text. 

The third aspect of the layout is the text with 
several black and white details. Here the main 
factors are the choice of font, color, and the 

texture and density of paper. The shape of the 
text's body flows with the shape of the borders of 
the black-and-white drawing. 

In a certain sense, I don't draw or paint, I conjure 
up the canvas or the paper sheet. I like to draw with 
pencil on paper. I find a lot of freedom in it. The or- 
dinary graphite pencil works fine. I love to draw with 
pencil; in fact, it is a very free and flexible technique, 
almost limitless, except for the lack of color. The 
presence of color is not so important to me. Color is 
a desirable attribute for children's books, but it is not 

I don't know if there is a recipe to illustrating 
Alice, but the artist has to find the way to express 
him/herself. I tried to draw illustrations that showed 
my initial impression or, more accurately, what was 
left from my first impression combined with a deeper 
reading of the text. It formed the way I see the set- 
tings. It's possible that I don't always follow the text 
exactly, sorry, but at least I'm sincere about it. That is 
how I see Alice. 


Alice S- Altemus 


Mlice couldn't believe it. There she was peer- 
ing through the looking glass at the books. 
Shelves and shelves of books. Amazed, 
she thought: How can it be! She'd thought she had 
them all. Those Altemus Alice books were easy to get. 
"Maybe I'm missing a book or two," she had consid- 
ered. But there they were, as clear as her reflection. 
The Alice books, all pixblished by Henry Altemus and 
Henry Altemus Company of Philadelphia, numbered 
in the hundreds and hundreds, and they were all 
about her, and they were all different. Some told of 
her Adventures in Wonderland and others chronicled 
her adventures Through the Looking Glass. Maybe there 
were thousands... 

Oh well. So much for being a completist!! 


Henry Altemus and Henry Altemus Company was a 
prolific Philadelphia publishing house. Although 
the company had its roots in the early 1800s, it pub- 
lished nothing under its own imprint until the 1860s. 
By that time Henry Altemus had taken over the firm 
from his deceased father, Joseph T. Altemus, a preem- 
inent binder of books. Joseph started binding books 
in the 1820s, founding his own company, Altemus & 
Company, in 1842. In the late 1840s and early 1850s 
(until his death in 1853), the beautiful bindings 
made by Joseph Altemus were popular among other 
Philadelphia publishers. Numerous examples of his 
elegant bindings for books published by E. H. Butler 
and Grigg and Elliot still exist. In addition, Altemus 
bound many of Butler's oversized Bibles in the early 

After Joseph's death, his son Henry Altemus Sr. 
took over the binding company. By the 1860s, Altemus 
8c Co. was one of the largest binders in the country 
with more than 150 employees. It was also in the early 
1860s that Altemus was awarded a patent for a special 
hinge that secured pages to each other and the bind- 
ing. Armed with this patent, Altemus & Co. produced 
the first volumes with its own imprint — photographic 
albums. These elegantly designed albums were pro- 
duced until the 1890s. 

The illustrations for this article are online at web. 
Site/ Alice, html — Ed. 


As the 1870s advanced to the 1880s, Altemus also 
published countless ornate oversized Bibles with the 
Henry Altemus imprint ( 
bibles/bibles. htm). The Bibles certainly were the 
mainstay of early Henry Altemus publishing. In 1886, 
for example, there were sixteen pages of Bibles of var- 
ious styles and prices advertised in their catalogue. Bi- 
bles were advertised in Altemus catalogues until 1897. 
In fact, Altemus referred to itself as the Philadelphia 
Bible Warehouse. Apparently because of diminished 
popularity and/or reduced print runs, after 1897 the 
reader was told to write for an illustrated catalogue of 
Bibles, as they were no longer advertised in the yearly 
Altemus general book catalogue. 

By the 1890s, the Altemus publishing catalog 
ranged from religious subjects to reprints of fiction, 
essays, and poetry to juvenile series, and this trend 
continued over the next forty-plus years of publish- 
ing. Altemus stopped book publishing in 1933. 


In order to understand the Altemus Alices, it is impor- 
tant to have a basic understanding of Altemus publi- 
cations in general. Mostly, Altemus published books 
in series form. There are 205 known series, and they 
range from large multiauthored, multivolumed pub- 
lisher's series of poetr)', fiction, essays, etc. to series of 
fairy tales to juvenile series books. 

The Alice books appeared throughout the series 
landscape. Wonderland appeared in eighteen differ- 
ent series. Looking Glass appeared in sixteen series. A 
combination book that included both stories can be 
found in six series. Snark is in three series. More than 
98 percent of Altemus's published books were printed 
within the 205 known series. Therefore, most of the 
Alice books are found in those series. I am aware of 
only three non-series Alice books. 

Thus, it would seem pretty easy for a collector to 
get them all. Add up the numbers — forty-two books 
in series plus three non-series books, and voila — suc- 
cess! Not so fast, reader — the hole that Alice fell down 
was not dug out with a four-inch spade. A series is not 
just a series. Some of the series changed their exter- 
nal formats (covers, but not the content) frequently, 
ranging from every year to every few years. In some 
cases there were numerous formats within just one 
year. This will be discussed later. 


The number to the left is the series number from my 

Altemus bibhography. 

42 Arcadia Series Snark 

48 Beauxarts Series (later numbering) AAIW 

48 Beauxarts Series (later numbering) TTLG 

57 Boys and Girls Classics (new) AAIW 

57 Boys and Girls Classics (new) TTLG 

58 Boys and Girls Classics (old) AATW 

58 Boys and Girls Classics (old) TTLG 

59 Boys and Girls Own Library AATW 
59 Boys and Girls Own Library TTLG 
64 Children's Gift Series AAIW 

64 Children's Gift Series TTLG 

82 Ever New Books for Young People AAIW 

82 Ever New Books for Young People TTLG 

86 Favorite Series (1898) AATW 

87 Favorite Series for Young People AAIW 
87 Favorite Series for Young People TTLG 
115 La Belle Fleur Series AATW 

115 La Belle Fleur Series TTLG 

117 Langhorne Series Snark 

118 L'Art Nouveau Series AATW 
118 L'Art Nouveau Series TTLG 

120 Library of Standard Authors AATW/TTLG 

[in one volume] 
125 Litde Men and Women Series AATW/TTLG 
130 Marqueterie Series AA/W 
130 Marqueterie Series TTLG 
143 Petit-Trianon Series (third numbering) AATW 
143 Petit-Trianon Series (third numbering) TTLG 
148 Popular Library AATW/TTLG 
158 Riviere Series AATW/TTLG 
163 Sanspareil Series (later numbering — 1899) 

163 Sanspareil Series (later numbering — 1899) 


166 Slip in the Pocket Classics Series Snark 

167 Standard 12 mos. Series AATW/TTLG 
169 Stories Children Love Series AA/W 

180 Vademecum Series (later numbering) AATW 

180 Vademecum Series (later numbering) TTLG 

183 Velvet Calf 12 mos. Series AATW/TTLG 

186 Wee Books for Wee Folks (third format) AATW 

186 Wee Books for Wee Folks (third format) TTLG 

200 Young Folks' Quarto Series AAIW 

200 Young Folks' Quarto Series TTLG 

202 Young People's Library AATW 

202 Young People's Library TTLG 


The first Altemus Carroll books were published in 
1895. A combination book was published in the Stan- 
dard 12 mos. Series (#167). The books of this series 
came in several formats. The crushed levant, silver 
gilt-front decorative book (Picture 1) and the English 
calf book are well-made elegant books, but the picto- 

rial cover book (Picture 2) in silver and inks is per- 
haps the best-made Altemus Carroll book, probably 
the most valuable, and certainly my favorite. These 
books were 7.5 in. by 5.5 in. 

Another early combination book, which ap- 
peared in 1897, was published in the Library of Stan- 
dard Authors Series (#120) . Its cover is different from 
the other 1895 books, but its contents are identical 
(Picture 3). It includes an erroneous title page that 
lists 1895, not the real date of 1897. 

The first individual titles of Wonderland and 
TTLG appeared in the Young People's Library (YPL) 
(#202). This series began publication in 1895 with six 
books, two of which were the A&^ books (Pictures 4 
and 5) and continued until the company's demise in 
1933. The books in this series are perhaps the most 
ubiquitous of all the Altemus books, and this is es- 
pecially true of the two Carroll titles. The YPL Al- 
ices went through a number of changes as the series 
moved from format to format, and are absolutely the 
most misunderstood Altemus Alice books from a bib- 
liographical standpoint. 


This series is probably the most popular and longest 
running of all the Altemus series. It consisted of fairy 
tales, historical fiction, biographies, etc. As noted 
above, the A/?V^ books are frequently misrepresented 
as being editions they are not. The first Altemus edi- 
tions of the individual titles were in this series, and 
the base of the title page has 1895 written on it. The 
first format books shown here (Pictures 4 and 5) were 
published between 1895 and 1898, and were pro- 
duced in various colors. The ads in the front and back 
make it quite easy to identify which year within this 
format a particular book was published (see http:// .htm) . 

Confusion arises beginning in the second format 
of the series (Pictures 6, 7, and 8). Altemus did no 
favors for future bibliographers. When it began its 
YPL second format in 1898, it changed its title page 
and placed an 1897 copyright on it. This copyright 
date remained on the title page of both Carroll books 
throughout the second format (until 1902) ahd well 
into the teens during the third format run. The third 
format was published until 1923. The fourth format 
then was printed until 1933 (Pictures 9, 10, 11, and 
12). Frequently, collectors will see the 1897 date on 
the title page and announce that they have a first edi- 
tion from 1897. Note that the covers of some of the 
second and third formats are the same (see http://, but the 
spine pattern can distinguish the books. As with most 
Altemus books, dating is relatively easy if the ads in 
the back of the book are studied. 

The contents of the early books as well the later 
books are identical in terms of text and illustrations. 


The only exceptions are the frontispieces, which 
change several times from Tenniel ilkistrations to the 
multicolored pictures by unknown (at least to me) 

Despite the fact that these YPL Alices sometimes 
sell for large sums, they are for the most part ex- 
tremely common. With the exception of the 1895 
books and books found with dust jackets (which they 
all had initially), they really have very little value. 

THE publisher's SERIES AND THE 

Altemus publisher's series are multivolumed, mul- 
tiauthored hardcover book series that consist of re- 
printed fiction, poetry, nonfiction, essays, and the 
like. Something for everyone could be found in these 
series. Arthur Conan Doyle to Lewis Carroll, Thoreau 
to Emerson, religious to romantic — they were all 
there. Series had as few as 25 books or as many as 150. 
Some series lasted only one year (Printemps), while 
others lasted more than thrty-five years (Vademe- 
cum). The Alicehooks were included in some of these 
series beginning in 1899: Beauxarts, La Belle Fleur, 
L'Art Nouveau, Marqueterie, Petit Trianon, Riviere, 
Sanspareil, and Vademecum. 

The problem for a collector is trying to draw the 
line. Do you want a representative copy of each series, 
do you want one copy of each different cover style 
published within each series, or do you want every 
cover ever published? The first two options can be 
achieved, but the third is virtually impossible. 

The most significant of the publisher's series is 
the Vademecum Series, which ran from 1894 to 1926. 
The two Alice titles were first published within this se- 
ries in 1899. I thought a review of this series would be 
instructive for the Carroll collector who thinks he or 
she has everything. 

The Vademecum covers were changed numerous 
times during its publication run and can be broken 
down into three different styles. (This review ad- 
dresses only the 1899 and later books, since these are 
the ones that included the Carroll books.) 

The first style consisted of an embossed design 
on the cover, frequently a flower pattern. Vadem- 
ecum 1899, for example, generally came in three 
or four colors. So for the Vademecum 1899 edition, 
there were three or four different Wonderlands and 
the same number of Looking Glass books. 

The second style consisted of a decorative pat- 
tern on the cover with a paste-on (applique) picture 
of flowers. For example, Vademecum 1904 came in 
at least four different color covers with four known 
flower patterns. Thus, if you want all the Vademecum 
Wonderlands for 1904, you are looking at finding six- 
teen books. 

Covers of a third Vademecum style had various 
decorative patterns enclosing a paste-on of a Euro- 

pean scenic painting. See Vademecum 1903 for sev- 
eral examples. Thus far, there have been thirty-seven 
different pictures identified. These pictures were used 
in six different formats between 1901 and 1907. Each 
format came in a variety of colors. The 1903 format 
had at least seven different colors. So doing the math 
just for the 1903 Vademecum books, we come up with 
222 different Alice covers. Although some formats of 
these books did not have as many colors, they all had 
at least four. Thus, you can see that there are easily 
more than one thousand Vademecum Alice books 
just for the six formats that used the European pic- 
ture paste-ons described here. For a more complete 
look at all the formats and pictures, see http://henry- 

All the other publisher's series noted above also 
had multiple formats and cover changes, although 
not as extensive as the Vademecum Series. See the 
pictures for some examples. 

While the multitude of publisher's series Alice 
books have different covers, the general text and 
contents are identical. Altemus clearly used the same 
plates for all of these books. The internal pictures are 
Tenniel's, whereas the frontispieces in these books 
occasionally are those of anonymous illustrators. 


As can be seen above, most of the Alices were pub- 
lished as separate books — Wonderland and Looking 
Glass. In addition to those previously described, here 
are a couple of early exceptions: 

There are three formats that are not found in 
series. Two of the three, published for the first time 
in 1915, are combination books (see Pictures 13 and 
14). They are large (8.25 x 6 in.) books with beauti- 
fully illustrated end papers (Picture 15) and have five 
glossy multicolored pictorial full-page illustrations. 

Series #125, the Little Men and Women Series, 
was one of Altemus's mainstays in the early teens. 
This series, which was published from 1908 to 1915, 
contained as many as twenty-five popular Altemus 
books. Beside the combination Alice book, books by 
Carolyn Wells, Edward Ellis, and Tudor Jenks, among 
others, can be found in this popular series. The Alice 
book came in various formats throughout the series 
run — several of which are shown here (see Pictures 
16, 17, and 18 — the latter two look the same, but one 
cover has multiple colors and the other has only red 
and black) . 


The Wee Books for Wee Folks Series (#186), which 
dates from 1904 to 1931, consisted of fairy tale-like 
stories in small (5.5 x 4.5 in.) books. Both Alicehooks 
were added late to the series, in 1926 (see Pictures 
19 and 20). In 1935, Piatt and Munk reprinted part 
of this series (but not the Alicehooks). As opposed to 


most Altemus books, which have little collector inter- 
est, there is one very special book within this series. 
The first American edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit is 
found in Format 1 of the series. (The Alice books are 
part of Format 3.) Beatrix Potter's publisher, Warne, 
failed to obtain the American copyright for her Peter 
Rabbit book, opening the door for pirates such as Al- 
temus to publish a copy. This was an important book 
for Altemus, which later published numerous big-sell- 
ing Peter Rabbit books (See http://henryaltemus. 
com/peter_rabbit/peterrabbit.htm). Also in this se- 
ries is an early pirated copy oi Little Black Sambo, which 
later evolved into a Little Black Sambo series. 

The Boys and Girls Classics Series (#57) published 
both Alicehooks, beginning in 1908, with reprints into 
the 1920s. There are two very interesting things about 
this series. The first is that the contents, including the 
tide page, are exactly the same as the Young People's 
Library books. So the title page states the copyright as 
1897, even though the books were published much 
later, leading to considerable confusion. The covers 
of these books are quite different from any other Al- 
temus books. The covers were cut from a large swath 
of linen. There were at least seven different linen pic- 
tures on these books, but moreover, a piece of linen 
could be placed on a book such that different parts 
of the design were seen on the front, spine, and back, 
depending on the cut of the cloth. I am still working 
on the various patterns, but what I have seen would 
indicate that any one cloth could produce at least ten 
to fifteen different covers ( Pictures 21, 22, and 23). 
These books initially came in a florally designed la- 
beled box. 

tipped-in frontispiece (Picture 24). The frontispiece 
for both is identical to the cover paste-on. 


1 . Every book that Altemus published, including 
every Alice book, came with a dust jacket or in a 
labeled box. 1 am unaware of any exceptions. 

2. Altemus incorporated in 1900. Thus, any book 
that has the imprint Henry Altemus was pub- 
lished before 1900, and any book that has the 
imprint Henry Altemus Company dates from 
1900 or later. 

3. Altemus dust jackets that are plain uncoated 
brown were published in 1915 or earlier. The 
white coated jackets were published in 1915 or 

4. Most Altemus books have ads in the back that 
can help date the book. 

Gary Stemick, a neurologist practicing in The Woodlands, 
Texas, is the author o/Henry Altemus Company: A His- 
tory &: Pictorial Bibliography (2005) as well as A Bib- 
liography of 19th Century Children's Series Books 
(2003). The former was reviewed in KL 78. Gary notes 
that he is always available to help answer Altemus-related 
questions (css3@mac. com). For more information about 
Altemus, see 


My favorite Altemus Alice book is AA/W published in 
non-series form starting in 1915. This oversized (11 
X 8.5 in.) book has been seen in two different colors. 
There are slight differences between the two pictured 
books. The blue book has wonderfully illustrated end 
papers. The green book has plain end papers and a 



Leaves poo? 
T/?e Deaneny Ganden 

A friend, "W. B.," was reading the 
Preface to Sylvie & Bruno, came 
across this stanza (Horace, Odes II. 3 
"Aequam Memento," final verse), 
and kindly translated it for me. 

Omnes eodem cogimur, omnium 
Versatur umd serins ocius 

Sors exitura et nos in aternum 
Exilium impositura cymbce. 

We are all compelled to the same 
destination/Sooner or later our 
destined ticket will exit the shaken 
urn/And put us all, each every 
one, on the skiff to eternal exile. 

John Hadden 
Brunswick, Maine 

This passage, described by Carroll 
himself as "well-known, " is used by him 
as a launching pad for a disquisition 
on mortality and the enjoyment of life. 
Of course, in today's world, few of his 
readers have Latin at their fingertips, 
as was expected of the educated in 
his day. But we do have the Internet, 
and sites such as www. merriampark. 
com/horcarm23. htm provide transla- 
tions (nine in this case, including one 
by Prime Minister Gladstone), in ad- 
dition to glosses, cribs, and extensive 
notes. — Ed. 


Have you considered adding a 
section for legal opinions, briefs, 
etc., that cite Carroll? 

One of the more memorable 
moments in contemporary juris- 
prudence was when Monroe 
McKay, 10th U.S. Circuit Court of 
Appeals, cited (extensively) Car- 
roll in his dissent in U.S. v. Affleck. 
Recently, a U.S. District Judge in 
Ohio paid homage to Carroll, as 
have numerous others. 

Love your website — we recently 
used it as a resource for reference 
in yet another legal brief where we 
cited Carroll (twice) while noting 
that opposing counsel had in fact 
made their entire case based on 
evidence in a case that they had 
omitted to introduce. Not surpris- 
ingly, the Judge in the matter had 
overlooked that finer point until 
we (and Alice) rather abruptly 
mentioned it. 

Keep up the good work. Car- 
roll, whatever rabbit hole he 
ended up in, is smiling and nod- 
ding approval. 

Jim Bahb 

Bentonville, Arkansas 

Very interesting reading, and such 
a diversity of information. Fine 
writing quality, too, which reflects 
the membership. I wish I could be 
at the meeting, but perhaps an- 
other year. What would Lewis 
Carroll think of such a prolifera- 
tion of books, questions, items, 
and interest that his work has 
brought out! 

Barbara Abbott 

New Hampshire 

I have just been reading the latest 
Knight Letter (Winter 2007) with 
great pleasure. I note that you 
reprint Mark Burstein's kneejerk 
response to the one-line spoof in 
the Christopher Myers version of 
Jabberwocky and yet print the consid- 
erably longer spoof "The Truth 
About 'Alice'" from Punch, 1928, 
verbatim and with no caveat. I 
appreciate that the views of con- 
tributors are not necessarily those 
of the Editors, still less the policy of 
the LCSNA, but there does appear 
to be a little inconsistency here. 
Spoofs (spooves?) have been an 
inevitable and entertaining aspect 


of the history of the progress of 
Lewis Carroll's writings since their 
birth. One of the earliest was Rob- 
ert Scott's article "The Jabberwock 
Traced to Its True Source" in Mac- 
millan's Magazine in 1872. I am not 
aware that Carroll received this in 
anything but the spirit in which it 
was intended. Carroll, of course, 
was a great spoof writer himself — 
one has only to look through the 
pamphlets published by your own 
Society to find these. 

The way to treat spoofs is to 
enjoy them with a smile and per- 
haps share them with friends. To 
try to quash them, in public or in 
print, is like trying to explain a 
joke. You are doomed to failure 
and in danger of looking foolish. 
To try to correct salacious and, 
perhaps, malicious misinformation 
like accusations of pedophilia or 
drug abuse is, I agree, something 
else and should be pursued, but 
calmly and rationally. Otherwise 
one may be suspected of protest- 
ing too much. 

Alan White 

Hertford, England 

There is a fine and gentle art to letting 
the reader know one is, in fact, kid- 
ding. It is one of the linchpins of suc- 
cessful satire and "spooves. " My objec- 
tion to Myers 's commentary was that he 
lacked that precious commodity, hence 
was unfortunately taken at face value. 
Similarly, Alan 's letter, above, was sent 
to us with a cover letter saying that "it 
is intended as a bit of fun, not serious 
criticism, " meaning he was well aware 
that his seeming insult to me could, 
but should not, be taken literally. I rest 
my case. - Mark Burstein 

Thank you very much for the excel- 
lently printed copies of your Knight 
L^^^^ which I have received and has 
gone around folks to read! It is a 
super magazine and I love the 
Wonderland feel to the sketches 
and the rest of the art work! 

If you could kindly mention the 
nineteen sixties and seventies as 
the year of writing for the Inania 
pieces in the next edition, that 

would put it all in perspective. 
Delhi's face is changing extremely 
fast with heavy plans laden with 

Yours is a delightful paper, and 
the little ringleted girl in the 1949 
picture brings Shirley Temple back 
to me! I still have a much worn, 
but carefully put together palm- 
sized booklet on my favorite little 
actress and her singing "On the 
good ship Lollipop, it's a nice trip 
to the candy shop!" 

Great to see your magazine. I 
shall share it with like-minded 

Jamila Verghese 

New Delhi, India 


In Knight Letter 79, Carrollian 
Notes, section "Sic, Sic, Sic," Eric 
Francis supposedly quotes Car- 
roll's Afe^ wrongly. Actually, he is 
not referring to Carroll's book, 
but to Disney's Alice in Wonderland. 
This is a literal quote from the 
opening scene of the movie. Just 
thought I'd let you know! 

Lenny de Rooy 

Nijmegen, The Netherlands 

When I was ten years old, I read 
Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in 
Wbnrf^/anrf translated into Korean. 
Some images and linguistic expres- 
sions in it were so interesting 
(sometimes so weird) that they 
remained vividly in my mind, in- 
fluencing my interest in language 
and literature later on. After I got 
a Ph.D. in literature, I started to 
study the Alice books. 

Children's literature is taken 
lightly in Korea. There are not 
many scholarly studies on the 
subject, and not many reference 
books. I contacted the Lewis Car- 
roll Society of North America 
about studying in America. They 
put me in touch with the Arne 
Nixon Center in Fresno, Califor- 
nia, which is famous for the study 
of children's literature and which 
has a large collection of books on 
Carroll. Angelica Carpenter, who 

is the curator of the center and 
also a board member of LCSNA, 
graciously invited me to study at 
the center. Angelica and the other 
staff members gave me important 
information on Lewis Carroll and 
the Alice books and we discussed 
other children's literature topics, 
too. Their knowledge and infor- 
mation were invaluable for the 
book on Carroll I am preparing. 
Back in Korea now, memories of 
my studies in the U.S. flash upon 
me, like Wordsworth on his couch 
enjoying happy memories in his 
Daffodils poem. Sad to say, my 
proposal for funding to write a 
scholarly book about Alice 2ind Car- 
roll was denied by the Korean 
government, despite the need. 
Even Carroll's name is not prop- 
erly translated in Korea (e.g., the 
pronunciation of "Dodgson") and 
nobody knows Carroll was a math 
teacher and photographer. I will 
try again later. My love for the Alice 
books is constant. I am now a 
member of the LCSNA, and am 
very grateful for their help and 
that of the Arne Nixon Center. 

Kang Hoon Lee 

Republic of Korea 

Enclosed are my annual LCSNA 
foreign dues. I must say this is very 
good value for the money. Not 
only are the Knight Letters excel- 
lent, but La Guida di Bragia was a 
wonderful bonus. 

Mahendra Singh 

Quebec, Canada 

I received my Knight Letter, Num- 
ber 79, yesterday, and read much 
of it, including the letter and re- 
sponse about Lewis Carroll and 
drug use. This morning, at work, I 
mentioned "Alice" in a work- 
related context to a coworker. He 
responded, "But Lewis Carroll was 
on drugs." I therefore had all the 
ammunition I needed to counter 
his statement. Thanks. 

Lester Dickey 




Welcome to members who have 
joined the LCSNA since the last 
Knight Letter. Barbara Abbott, Ed 
Arnold, Matt Crandall, Michael 
Everson, Paulette Fire, Doug 
Howick, Beverley Kane, Alison 
Mankin, Joan Moore, Andrea 
Rambaldi, Michael Riser, Jeremy 
Shorr, Susan Sodomin, Steven 
Sosman, and Kendall Wilson. 

New member Doug Howick is a 
well-known Snark aficionado and 
we are looking forward to his ar- 
ticle on Snark illustrations in a 
future KL. Michael Everson man- 
ages the Lewis Carroll e-mail dis- 
cussion list ( 
com/group/lewiscarroll/). Matt 
Crandall was one of the hosts of 
our Spring meeting, and is also 
author of the article on Disney 
Alice collecting in this issue. 

Member Lila Harper writes that 
she is indexing the KL for the 
Annual Bibliography of English 
Language and Literature, an on- 
line database that is sold mostly to 
academic institutions. KL has been 
indexed in ABELL since about the 
year 2000, a sure sign that its con- 
tent is recognized as of scholarly 

Muriel Ratcliffe will be retiring 
and closing The Rabbit Hole and 
gift shop at the Alice in Wonder- 
land Centre in Llandudno, North 
Wales, around September 2008. 
The Centre will surely be missed. 
The website is still available as 
of this writing: www. wonderland. 


The premium this year for sustain- 
ing members ($100/year) is a 
lovely new bookmark designed by 
Jonathan Dixon. We don't have 
these in hand yet to mail out, so 
watch your mailbox later in the 

noTes fRom ihe ICSNA secReraKy 




PLEASE don't 

. . . make PayPal payments to my 
personal e-mail address (unless 
you are sending absolutely huge 
amounts). The correct e-mail 
address for PayPal is: 


If you are interested in this 
members-only service, in which we 
provide occasional e-mail an- 
nouncements of upcoming events — 
such as Alice-related perfor- 
mances, new books, new products, 
anything we expect to be of inter- 
est to our members — please send 
me an e-mail 
and I'll add you 

to the list. Send us notice of your 
upcoming events, publications, 
etc. We'll be glad to post them for 
you. Postings on this exclusive list 
are often picked up by other ser- 
vices, such as the Lewis Carroll 
Society (U.K.) website and the 
Lewis Carroll blog (http://lcsna. 


Beginning with issue 78, we have 
been using standard mail for U.S. 
members instead of first class, with 
considerable savings in postage 
costs. Delivery times seem to aver- 
age from as little as a week on the 
East Coast to perhaps three weeks 
or even a bit more for receipt in 
California and elsewhere in the 
West. KL 79 was mailed approxi- 
mately the third week in February. 
We expect KL 80 to go out in Au- 
gust. If you have any concerns 
about receiving your KLs, let me 


But then Alice doesn't care for 
jam, anyway. (We suspect she pre- 
fers marmalade, there's just no 
accounting for taste.) 



Ravings ]:nocv ihe WRiring Desk 


^^C "W^^y professional theater career prevented 
m \m \ me from attending the spring meeting 
^ ^(I was playing the Fool in a production 

of King Lear — the satisfaction of actually being paid 
to be a fool after all these years of holding the title 
unofficially was simply too great to resist) . But by all 
accounts it was a nonpareil movable feast and a de- 
light to all those lucky enough to be able to attend. 
The list of people responsible for making this three- 
day epic extravaganza a triumph is longer than the 
mouse's tale. Our deepest thanks to the 
following: to speakers Mark Goodacre 
and Oleg Lipchenko for their excellent 
talks; to Clare and August Imholtz, Ellie 
Schaefer-Salins and Ken Salins, David 
and Mary Schaefer, and Matt and Wendy 
Crandall, for opening their homes and 
their collections to our members; to 
our Maxine Schaefer Memorial read- 
ers (Selwyn and Janet Goodacre, Peter 
Atkinson, and Ken and Ellie Salins); to 
Alan and Alison Tannenbaum, Barbara 
Mall, Stephanie Lovett, and Joe Provenz- 
ano for assistance in various and sundry 
matters; to Joel Birenbaum (our peerless 
auctioneer once again) and his expert as- 
sistant Lauren Goodacre; to Mark Dimu- 
nation at the Library of Congress (both 
for library display arrangements and for his excellent 
talk); to Jonathan Dixon and Edward Wakeling for 
their tributes to David Schaefer; to Arienne Clark and 
Mr. Dade at the Robert Brent Elementary School; and 
to the staff of the Fairland Library of Montgomery 
County. (If I have forgotten anyone, please forgive 
me.) But special thanks must be reserved for August 
and Clare Imholtz and Ellie and Ken Salins. These 
four worked together tirelessly to weave a meeting 
tapestry of varied literary and artistic pleasures, too 
many for a single day to hold. They sought it with 
thimbles, they sought it with care. And they found it. 
They opened their hearts and their homes with equal 
generosity, and a large portion of the credit for the 

resounding success of the spring meeting must be 
laid, as laurels, at their doorsteps. I salute everyone 
involved. It may be a hard meeting to top, but we're 
a society that likes a challenge! Our fall 2008 meeting 
will be held at the Fales Library, in the Bobst Library 
at New York University on Saturday, October 25th; 
stay tuned to our website for details. 

If I have anything to rave about at the moment, 
it's about you, our members. Granted, some of us 
have known each other for a number of years by this 
point. Some of us communicate regu- 
larly, and perhaps even know each oth- 
er's families. But what's so inspiring to 
me is the endless combinations of mem- 
bers old and new of all ages who unite 
in the common cause of Carrollian study 
and appreciation, whether we know each 
other well or are comparative strang- 
ers. Sometimes it's to help plan a meet- 
ing. Sometimes it's simply to attend one. 
Sometimes it's to contribute new schol- 
arship, humor, or far-flung miscellany 
to this magazine. Some of us have never 
met in person, and due to logistics, in all 
likelihood some of us never will. Yet here 
you are, reading this commentary, and 
around the country and the world are 
another few hundred people doing the 
same thing. True, the Internet has greatly enhanced 
our virtual community, but it's clear to me that even 
if the computer on which I am typing had never been 
invented, we would all have somehow found a way to 
find each other, and to share our fascination with the 
life and works of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Perhaps 
we should call ourselves the Worldwide Lewis Carroll 
Community. I certainly have every reason to believe 
that as individuals and as a community, we will all 
continue to reach for new ways to share our passion 
with the world. 






In "The Wasp and the Wig" chap- 
ter of Looking-Glass, we find the 
following dialogue: 

"In coming back," Alice went 
on reading, "they found a lake 
of treacle. The banks of the 
lake were blue and white and 
looked like china. While tasting 
the treacle, they had a sad ac- 
cident: two of their party were 
engulphed — " 

"Were what?" the Wasp asked 
in a very cross voice. 

"En-gulph-ed," Alice repeated, 
dividing the word into syllables. 

Martin Gardner annotates this 
passage as follows on p. 345 of 
More Annotated Alice, ( 1 990 ) 
[p. 295 of The Annotated Alice: The 
Definitive Edition (2000)]: 

"Engulph" was a common spell- 
ing of "engulf in the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries. It 
was occasionally seen in Car- 
roll's time, and the Wasp may 
be voicing Carroll's personal 
dislike of the spelling. Perhaps 
it is Alice's incorrect pronuncia- 
tion, "en-gulph-ed" (three syl- 
lables instead of two) , that the 
Wasp finds so outlandish. 

Donald L. Hotson sug- 
gests that Carroll may here be 
playing on a university slang 
expression of the time. Ac- 
cording to The Slang Diction- 
ary (Chatto & Windus, 1974), 
"gulfed" (sometimes spelled 
"gulphed") was "originally a 
Cambridge term, denoting 
that a man is unable to enter 

for the classical examinations 
from having failed in the 
mathematical.... The expres- 
sion is common now in Ox- 
ford as descriptive of a man 
who goes in for honours, and 
only gets a pass." 

Dr. Christopher Stray, an Honor- 
ary Research Fellow in the Depart- 
ment of Classics at Swansea Uni- 
versity in Wales, has sent a further 

In late 18th-century Cambridge, 
men were sorted by oral dispu- 
tations, then a written exam. 
The former generated six 
classes in merit order; these 
went into the exam but anyone 
in classes 1 or 2 (i.e., expected 
to be first class) could duck out 
and claim a "sick note second." 
That was "gulphing it." Early in 
the 19th century this changed, 
and men who were not up to 
3rd class honors, but not bad 
enough to fail, were "allowed 

degrees," but not listed. They 
"went out in the gulph." After 
the classical tripos exams 
started in 1824, for thirty years, 
only those who got mathemati- 
cal honours (classes 1-3) could 
sit them. So gulphing had as its 
consequence being ineligible 
for classics. Hence the trans- 
ferred meaning that Hotson 
records. The Oxford expression 
probably dates from the 1830s. 

A wall may separate, surround, or 
protect; if a fence creates good 
neighbors, surely those created by 
a wall will be excellent. But what is 
the function of Humpty Dumpty's 
wall? It must be on the far edge of 
the square assigned to him in the 
opening chess problem, Q6, as 
Alice has to walk quite far to reach 
it. Is it an anomaly, a dividing wall 
instead of a dividing brook? Per- 
haps these are important portions 
of the intermingled Red and 
White kingdoms; the White King 
himself appears in the next 
square, so perhaps additional 
security is required. 

And how far does the wall go 
on beyond Humpty Dumpty on 
each side? Tenniel's picture clev- 
erly indicates an angled opening 
to Humpty Dumpty's left, thus 
providing passage for Alice to 
proceed to the next square (Q7, 
forest) . We have no idea how far it 
extends in the other direction. Is 
this gap simply a gate of some kind 
or the terminus of the wall? 

Submitted by Andrew Ogus 


I am looking for information on 
Ruth L. Smith and her Alice in 
Wonderland's Cook Book. The 1971 
facsimile gives some information 
and I have read the Jabberxoocky 
review, but there is still quite a 
mystery about Smith (a pseud- 
onym?) and the reasons for the 
cookbook. No publisher or date is 
stated on the facsimile. The illus- 
trator, Bill Gollings, is known, but 
neither Smith nor the cookbook is 
mentioned in his biography — 
probably it was just a commission 
for him to do? Did he know her, or 
the people who had the book 
published? Also, in a couple of the 
illustrations of the Knight, 
Gollings's face seems superim- 
posed. Perhaps the book was a 
group effort? Seems so, with the 
random selection of recipes. 

I have another copy, SAID to be 
the first edition. However, it has 
NO cover, and begins with the 
identical title page as the facsimile. 

Its pages are not in the same order 
as the facsimile, it repeats the 
Knight recipe page, and does not 
have the final page that is in the 
facsimile. My "first" does have the 
BOWMAN Printing Co. line (no 
date) on the reverse of the title 
page. The bookseller of my "first" 
mentioned printing dates of 1895, 
1905, and 1922. But what is the 
authentication of these dates? I 
hope someone reading this KL 
can answer some of my questions. 
Submitted by Barbara Abbott 

The advertisement at the rear of 
my copy of the 1932 Macmillan/ 
New York Alice's Adventures under 
Ground lists "Books by Lewis Car- 
roll," one of which is said to be 
"The Hunting of the Shark" (!). Do 
any other KL readers have this 
bibliographic anomaly in their 

Submitted by Byron Sewell 

I couldn't help thinking that the 
dialogue in La Guida di Bragia had 
resonances of The Goon Show, the 
1950s BBC comedy with Spike 
Milligan as lead writer. Has anyone 
looked at the influence of Lewis 
Carroll on the Goons and from 
there to Monty Python (and all the 
later British humor) ? Or was Car- 
roll (as suggested in the Notes on 
La Guida) writing from his mem- 
ory of British Vaudeville theatre? 
Submitted by Marion Isham 

Please submit your Notes, Queries, 
and Responses to muldoone99@ with the subject line: 
Knight Letter N&Q. All topics 
pertaining to the life and works of 
Lewis Carroll/Charles Dodgson are 
valid. Selection and publication of 
reader submissions will be solely at 
the discretion of the editor. 


And does a summer afternoon 
offer a simpler or more portable 
luxury than aiming your face up- 
ward like a sundial to feel the sun's 
warm caress on your closed eye- 
lids? The image of sundials re- 
minds us that as our planet turns 
away from the sun we are nearing 
brillig, that time of day when the 
slithy tove, Meles helicosaurus, is 
likeliest to gyre and gimble. If you 
look above the wabe at the sundi- 
al's upward-gazing face, you will 
find that the shadow of its nose 
rests, as Humpty Dumpty explains 
in defining brillig, at "four o'clock 
in the afternoon — the time when 
you begin broiling things for din- 
ner." Although Through the Looking- 
Glass was not published until more 
than a decade later, in an 1855 
pamphlet for his family Charles 
Dodgson presented the first verse 
of "Jabberwocky" and defined 
bryllygXt?,^ narrowly as "the close of 
the afternoon." 

From Apollo's Fire, by Michael 
Sims, Viking, New York, 2007 

He described the west country 
track, still visible at points upon 
Exmoor, along which Saxon farm- 
ers moved when summoned to 
war — the army path. "Ninth-cen- 
tury motorway. Now they certainly 
saw space differently." 

"So do children. The world 
shrinking as they grow. Maybe they 
experience the whole process — 
from crawling to staggering to run- 
ning. And they always want to get 
to the other place — the else- 

He laughed. "I'd not thought of 
that. I like it." 

"Alice," said Ruth, "drinking 
from that bottle, and getting 
larger and larger. Her arm sticking 
out of the window. That's all about 
confusions over size and space." 

From Consequences, a Novel, by 

Penelope Lively, Viking, New York, 



Beyond the peacock was a cup- 
board sunk in the narrow recess 
between the fireplace and the wall. 
On the upper shelves the nursery 
crockery was kept and the bottom 
shelf was full of our larger toys, or, 
when emptied of toys, was a good, 
if uncomfortable, hiding-place for 
a child who didn't mind sitting 
like a whiting with its feet in its 

There was the terrible day when 
I offered to do Josephine's hair 
according to the White Knight's 
recipe for keeping hair from fall- 
ing off, by training it upwards on a 
pea-stick, and the result was an 
awful tangle of yellow hair, shrieks 
and tears from the victim, the 
descent of a governess on the 

From Three Houses, by Angela 

Thirkell, Oxford University Press, 


As we talked that night she looked 
out at the moonlit scene and said, 
"You know it was on such a night 
as this that I saw the rabbits 

I sat bolt upright. "You what?" 

"I saw the rabbits dance. It was 
beautiful. They were so quiet, 
some of the little ones leap- 
frogged, but most of them were up 
on their hind legs doing a lovely 
dance. They didn't hurry and they 
all seemed to know the steps." 

My words came tumbling out. 
"Oh, I saw them, too, on a winter 
night, on the ice, in the moon- 
light. It was pure magic. I should 
have looked carefully to see 
whether one of them carried a 
watch in his waistcoat pocket!" 

We laughed, concluding that 
since we'd never read of this, nor 
encountered anyone else who had 
seen it, perhaps the sharing of this 
enchantment was a special privi- 
lege, granted only to the keepers 
of books. 

From "By the light of the moon, " 

by Jean Ducey, Christian Science 

Monitor, /m/); 6, 1981 

... in touring Dr. Martin Bodmer's 
great library in Geneva in the early 
I970's, members of the Grolier 
Club discovered copies of Alice in 
Wonderland and Das Kapital shelved 
in close juxtaposition. These 
books were grouped together. Dr. 
Bodmer explained, "because they 
are both fantasies." 

From Lunacy and the Arrange- 
ment of Books, Terry Belanger, 
Oak Knoll Press, New Castle, 
Delaivare, 1982 




Of Carrolls 
Slithy toves, borogove 

Gimbled there all out in strath- 
Mimified and gyrified, 

A rath is outergrabe. 
"Beware a scrunch, a scratch, 

Beware Jubjub, withstand a word! 
Respect the Jabberwock and dread 

Manxomian songbird!" 
He, sword off hand, placement 

Thus to complete father's grand 

quest - 
Then waited, vaunting showily 

His progenitor's crest. 
Therewith three swords he 

Before the creature, rumbling. 
It was alive; its feelers straight 

Burbled while whiffling! 
The vorpall sword o' vulcanite 
Smote - snicker! snacker! - artfully 
A headless Wocky residue 

Yielded strength mournfully. 
"Youth did it - O, praised 

He issued melodies, forthright. 
"Death's strike! O, day! Strallough! 
Stralleigh!" - 
A-chortling in delight. 
Borogove, strange slithy troves, 
A brilligtime quickstep 
Mimsy creatures, gimblified, 
Frolicked on a steppe. 

From Cadaeic Cadenza, the 
world 's longest English pi fC3 j 
mnemonic, by Mike Keith, © 1 996. 
The poem is "constrained " in that 
each word has the same number of 
letters as the corresponding digit of 
pi ... to the 3, 833th digit! Section 
three, "Jabwocky, " is digits 866 
through 993. More information 
can be read at Mr. Keith '5 website: 
http:/ /users, aol. com/s6sj 7gt/ 
cadenza, htm. 


The Telegraph's comical guide to 
public relations, "Your A-Z of 
Eth!cal PR" (Su Barking, July 31, 
2007), includes the following 
entry: "Jabberwocky: poem by 
Lewis Carroll. I'm delighted to be 
able to announce that the Disney 
Corporation have hired Ethical PR 
to oversee their entire Jabber- 
wocky operation. Like them, we 
are all convinced that it's a poem 
with a tremendous amount of 
potential, but that, alas, some, if 
not most, of the language means 
very little to today's young people. 
So we've set about 'relevanting' it, 
to make it more accessible to a 
broader reach-group. The first 
three lines now read, 'It was bril- 
liant, and the slim fellows / Did 
enjoy a swim in a public swimming 
baths / The bathers were very fit 
indeed.' We have also tried to 
make the Jabberwocky himself 
rather more loveable, so that 
there's no more of that 'Beware 
the Jabberwock' nonsense! In- 
stead, the verse goes 'Welcome in 
the Jabberwock, my son! He has a 
fabulous smile and a lovely warm 
way about him'. Incidentally, the 
great Sir Tim Rice has expressed 
himself interested in completing 
the lyrics." 



'Twas frustose, and the vitamins 
Did zinc and dye (red #8). 
All poly were the thiamins. 
And the carbohydrate. 

Beware the Gobblegook, my son! 
The flavorings, the added C! 
Beware the serving size, and shun 
The dreaded BHT 

And as in folic thought I stood. 

The Gobblegook, with eyes nitrate. 

Came gluten through the dextrose 


Its extracts carbonate. 

Oh, can you slay the Gobblegook, 
Polyunsaturated boy? 
3,000 calories! Don't look! 
The sugars! Fats! Oh soy. 

'Twas frustose, and the vitamins 

Did zinc and dye (red #8). 

All poly were the thiamins. 

And the carbohydrate. 

From Science Verse, by Jon 
Scieszka and illustrated by Lane 
Smith (New York: Scholastic, Inc., 
2004) Reprinted with the kind 
permission of the author. 

HARE was hara in Anglo-Saxon, 
which is akin to hasu, the Anglo- 
Saxon word for "gray" and also the 
source of the adjective "hazy." 
Gray, of course, refers to the color 
of the soft fur of so many of these 
timid, swift-footed creatures, who 
are often kept as pets. 

From In Pursuit of the Mous, 
the Snaile, and the Clamm, 
A Roving Dictionary of the 
Animal Kingdom, by Mary 
Durant, Meredith Press, New York, 

Perhaps his madness made the March 
Hare 's attitude less timid; in any case, 
a swift foot is certainly a prerequisite 
for a messenger. - Ed. 




'^ 2f alt Disney was always fascinated by the 

% #% m Alice books, and wanted to adapt them 
^JaK jfci*.from his earliest days. In fact, his first 
(successful) films were the fifty-six "Alice Comedies," 
the first of which is entitled Alice's Wonderland, made 
in 1923. After Disney's successful feature film. Snow 
White and the Seven Dwarfs, he again looked at adapting 
the A/?V^ books. In 1939, the studio did several treat- 
ments of the stories, generating some spectacular art, 
including that by David Hall. But it wasn't until 1946 
that production began on the version that would 
eventually be released in 1951 as Walt Disney's 
Alice in Wonderland. 

Alice in Wonderland was a really big deal 
at the Walt Disney Studios; they pulled out 
all the stops for the promotion and mer- 
chandising of this film. Their previous film, 
Cinderella, had been a smash hit, and the 
company was expecting great things from 
Alice. Add to that the fact that the studio had 
recently re-organized its entire merchandising infra- 
structure after the unexpected death of Kay Kamen 
(who ran the merchandising effort for Disney) , and 
brought it all in-house. This was their fledgling effort, 
so they were shooting for the stars. All these factors 
led to lots of interesting ideas for products, a smaller 
subset of which were actually produced. With a few 
exceptions, very few remain today, due in no small 
part to the commercial failure of the film. But, the 
stuff they did produce was very cool indeed. 

One of the best tools to assist you in your quest 
for Disney film collectibles (if you can find one) is 
an original 1951 National Screen Service Campaign 
Book. It is chock full of articles, images, and adver- 
tising materials, and (most importantly) lists and 
pictures of the merchandise produced for the film. 
While this list is by no means complete, it is a great 
start. Another fantastic resource is the Merchandis- 
ing Division catalog, which theoretically shows every- 
thing produced, at least domestically. Unfortunately, 
this catalog is very scarce; I know of only two, both 
sold from the files at Disney. 

Two of the more interesting items listed in the 
campaign book are the "novelty" playsets made by 
Hassenfeld Brothers (later known by the contraction 

of that name, Hasbro), the Alice in Wonderland Sew- 
ing Kit and the Alice in Wonderland Make-Up Kit. It 
is difficult to see the connection between these two 
items and Alice in Wonderland, but this was the 1950s, 
when all little girls were taught that you must be a 
good little homemaker, and look pretty while doing 
it. The kits themselves are rather generic, a rehash of 
other Hasbro kits with new Alice in Wonderland graph- 
ics, but the graphics are quite nice. It is quite difficult 
to find these kits complete and in good condition, es- 
pecially the sewing kit, as its lid had a very weak 
hinge attachment and is almost always torn 
or completely detached. The make-up kit 
is still harder to find, but is usually in bet- 
ter condition as its construction was com- 
pletely different. There exists a third kit 
that is not listed in the campaign book, 
the Alice in Wonderland Nurse's Kit. There 
is other literature of the time that mentions 
a nurse's bag, and one can only assume that 
it was far simpler to re-tool another existing Has- 
bro kit (like the Donald Duck doctor's kit, yikes!) 
with Alice graphics than create an entirely new item 
from scratch. This kit suffers from the same prob- 
lems as the sewing kit, and is even more difficult to 
find. Since it is not listed in the campaign book, it was 
probably produced later in 1951, perhaps after the 
movie was released and doing poorly, and production 
was therefore very limited. 

The campaign book also lists several dolls, the 
most recognizable of which is the Madame Alexander 
doll. This doll at first glance does not appear to be a 
Disney item as it has no Disney on it, but it was cre- 
ated for and marketed with the Disney film. In fact, 
for nearly a year, the back cover of Playthings (the 
premier toy industry magazine) was entirely devoted 
to the Madame Alexander tie-in with Disney's Alice in 
Wonderland. For those in the know, this is the "Mag- 
gie face" doll, and it came in several sizes. It is not 
an especially rare doll, but it is very desirable in the 
doll-collecting world, and can command prices in the 
multiple hundreds of dollars for nice examples. 

There were two different sets of dolls by Gund. 
The first set is what you'd expect from Gund of the 
time, felt clothed dolls of the White Rabbit, Mad Hat- 


ter, and March Hare. The Mad Hatter is particularly 
difficult to find with hat and 10/6 tag present. There 
are advance advertisements that appear in both the 
merchandising catalog and issues of 
Playthings that also list an Alice doll, 
but it is only pictured as concept art, 
and I don't believe it was produced. 

The second Gund set is fairly bi- 
zarre, and is listed as "waterproof 
dolls [for the pool of tears'? — Ed.] in the 
campaign book. These are essentially 
stuffed vinyl pillows with full-figure 
character art on both front and 
back — so if you ever wondered what 
the backside of a Tweedle looked 
like, now you can find out. They did a 
total of six of these bizarre dolls: 
Alice, White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, 
March Hare, Tweedle, and Queen of 
Hearts. There is a seventh doll pic- 
tured in the merchandising 
catalog, an additional Alice, 
but it was not produced. 
Again, these are difficult to 
find in good shape, as the 
material is prone to tearing 
and separating at the seams. 

And now for something 
particularly bizarre. Long 
before Crabtree & Evelyn, 
there was licensed Disney 
Alice in Wonderland figural 
soap, two different sets in 
fact: Alice and the White 
Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter and 
March Hare. They came in illustrated 
plastic cylindrical boxes, and had 
their facial features painted on. Very 
scary. They were made by a company 
called Parfait, which also produced a 
sachet of the White Rabbit. Needless 
to say, these soaps are almost impos- 
sible to find. If they didn't get tossed 
after terrifying children in the bath, 
they got used up. I've never seen the 
sachet, but there is an actual pho- 
tograph of it in the campaign book 
rather than concept art, so it was 
probably produced. 

The wristwatch is one of my fa- 
vorite items from the initial release, 
simply due to its packaging. It came 
in a cylindrical illustrated box with a 
teacup inside that held the watch. The watch itself has 
a nice three-quarter length image of Alice. The cam- 

A worLl nj tmnJen 

in OtiB GREATplCWm 




Ilic ali carioun Musical VVomlcrfilm 


An assortment of Disney Alice memorabilia. 

paign book lists the manufacturer as US Time (later 
Timex), but there are variants that use the older 
name Ingersoll. The box itself has three variations 
that I know of. The first, the full-color 
box, is from the initial release. The 
others come from later years, based 
on images in catalogs from 1952-57. 
One is the same cylindrical box, but 
solid pink with line art only. The 
final variation is from the final year 
of production, as far as I have been 
able to determine — I've only seen it 
pictured in catalogs from 1957 — and 
it is a square box, solid pink with line 
art. The next year, 1958, a new watch 
was released that only had the word 
"Alice" on the face, and was issued 
with a ceramic figure that is very, 
very common. There is an additional 
variation of the 1951 watch box out 
there, but it is not a teacup 
box. It is a square-ish box 
with deeply angled sides, 
and on the inside of the lid 
is an illustration of the Mad 
Hatter at the tea party with 
an acetate overlay of Alice. 
This is an extremely rare 
variant, and of the three that 
I've seen, only one still has 
the overlay. The watch itself 
has several variations as well. 
The most common variant 
has a metal casing with a fab- 
ric band with metal grommets. The 
band is either pink with blue grom- 
mets or blue with pink grommets. 
The next variation has a metal cas- 
ing with a faux leather band. There 
is also a variant that has a metal cas- 
ing with a metal flexi-band. The final 
variation has a pink plastic casing 
with a fabric band. 

I hope to contribute other ar- 
ticles on different aspects of Walt 
Disney's Alice in Wonderland in future 
issues of the Knight Letter, so if there 
is anything specific you'd like to hear 
about or you have questions on any 
aspect of Disney's Alice, please con- 
tact me at 

Additional photos of Mali's collection can 
be viewed on our Society 's website. 


3n itlemoriam 

»• »)"<<< 

Dr. Anashia Plackis 

January 25, 1927 -January 9, 2008 
Remembrance by August A. Imholtz, Jr. 

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of LCSNA member Dr. Anashia Plackis on January 9, 
2008, in Wantagh, New York. After raising her four children to maturity with her husband Jim, Anashia 
completed her doctorate in English Literature at the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 
1986 with a dissertation entitled Alice: Carroll's Subversive Message of Christian Hope and Love. As an adjunct 
professor at the university, she gave lectures to graduate students and medical students. She joined our 
society around 1985 and with Jim regularly attended our semiannual meetings, not only those in New 
York City but also around the country. At three of those meetings she gave the following talks: "Carroll's 
Poetical Use of Hieroglyphic Symbolism" (1987) at the Enoch Pratt Free Library meeting; "Lewis Car- 
roll as a Pioneer of Whole Language Philosophy" (1994) at the Second International Lewis Carroll 
Conference at Wake Forest University; and "Lewis Carroll — A Millennial View" (1998) at UCLA. She 
was also a guest speaker at the International Lewis Carroll Conference in Oxford in 1989, and delivered 
a lecture at Harvard University a few years ago. 

Several of her presentations were based on, or expansions of, chapters in her dissertation, in which 
she presents evidence, primarily drawn from Carroll's own words and drawings, that he "was a subver- 
sive Christian activist who consistently championed the rights of those who were persecuted and dis- 
inherited by Anglican Church spokesmen." "Carroll," Anashia argued, "viewed himself as a spiritually 
independent, egalitarian layman." She further shows Carroll's indebtedness to Milton and to the Bible 
as she develops a new Christian reading of Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. In the final chapter 
she "shows, in greater depth, that the Alice books are a subversive translation of many biblical parables 
and principles, and that they conform to Carroll's plans for 'A Child's Bible.'" 

As Charlie Lovett, Carroll scholar and former LCSNA president, has commented, "While there 
may have been disagreement among scholars about the notion of hidden messages in the Alice books, 
[Anashia] brought much needed attention to the place of religion in Lewis Carroll's life." Anashia's 
enthusiasm for Lewis Carroll and his works was exuberantly infectious. She was a much-loved member 
of our Society, and we shall miss her greatly. Her family has generously requested that, in lieu of flowers, 
memorial contributions be made to the LCSNA Dr. Anashia Plackis Memorial Fund in care of LCSNA 
Secretary, Clare Imholtz, 11935 Beltsville Drive, Beltsville, MD 20705. 


» ^>>"<<c ^ 

Carolyn Hackman Buck 

Remembrance by Cindy Walter 

It was with great sadness that the Society learned of the death of longtime member Carolyn Buck, of 
Stockton, California. Carolyn was a native Californian, world traveler, English and journalism teacher, 
expert needlewoman, superior pianist, Carroll collector, wife, mother, grandmother, and sister. 

She was a member of the Lewis Carroll and Jane Austen literary societies, keeping up correspon- 
dence with Carrollians and Jane-ites around the world. Several in the LCSNA and LCS met Carolyn for 
the first time at the ultimate "jam today" experience, the Lewis Carroll Centenary Programme at Christ 
Church, Oxford, in the summer of 1998. She was delighted to see and hear the Carrollian scholars of 
whom she had read and to whom she had written for so long. The scrapbook/photo album she con- 
structed from that experience was a work of art, with visual puns and wonderful pictures throughout. 

Carolyn had the vitaHty of a woman several decades younger. Because of her manners, education, 
and travel experience, she would have been at home in any circumstance, place, or time. She certainly 
had one of Lewis Carroll's tastes: she enjoyed long walks. One night, after a particularly generous Christ 
Church dinner, she took me on a trot through Oxford. In fact, I remember it as a rather strenuous ex- 
cursion, but she had the Red Queen's indefatigability. 

Carolyn supported other Carrollian scholars, often traveling to hear them speak, and she was a 
particular fan of the Burstein family. Her daughter Claudia said that the world was a better place for her 
mother's sojourn in it, and all who knew Carolyn Buck must agree. 



Ollie Johnston 

October 31, 1912 -April 14,2008 

The last of Disney's "Nine Old Men," Johnston animated Alice, the talking doorknob, and the King of 
Hearts in Alice in Wonderland. Awarded the National Medal of Arts for his animation work in 2005, he 
was also the author of several books on animation and Disney films. He was caricatured in The Rescuers 
as the cat Rufus, and as an old man in The Incredibles, to which he also lent his voice. 


► :>» « CC: < 

Brice Harvey Mack 

1917?- January 2, 2008 

Mack was one of Disney's lead background painters, working on many films, including Alice in Wonder- 
land. He also worked as a writer in the story department and created illustrations for children's books 
based on the Disney films. 



Canollmn Notes 


Jeff was just about to make a lewd 
rejoinder when Aaron Fine hur- 
ried down the aisle like the White 
Rabbit on an errand for the Red 

/rom Death Mask, ajocelyn 
O'Rourke mystery, by Jane 
Dentinger, Penguin Books, 1988 


"I'm a collector, especially Davis 
Carroll, I've got 3000 different 
editions of Elvis from all over the 

Mark Burstein, in his interview 
of the painter David Willardson, 
''professionally " transcribed. Mark 
said "Lewis" and "Alice, " of course. 

Caroline, Queen 202 

Carroll, Lewis (Charles Lutwidge 

Dodgson) 7, 395-400 

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 

395-8 475, 481 

Euclid 395 

His Modern Rivals 395 

Through the Looking-glass 395, 

398-400, 475 

Carter, Angela 485 

A selection from the index to A 
Companion to Romance from 
Classical to Contemporary, 
edited by Corinne Saunders, 
Blackiuell Publishing, 2004 


Ruth Berman 

Elaine j. Cohen's letter {KL19] 
asked if there is any evidence that 
Carroll was taking drugs when 

writing Alice in Wonderland. The 
short answer, as her family discov- 
ered (and Andrew Sellon's edito- 
rial comment confirmed), is: no, 
there's no evidence. The follow-up 
commentary reported that one 
faction of the Cohen family was 
thinking of trying to find out if 
Carroll had long-term illnesses, 
perhaps his migraine headaches, 
for which his doctor might have 
prescribed opium. 

Actually, in terms of influences 
on Carroll's writing, it might be 
more to the point to study the 
migraines, without worrying about 
how they were treated. Some mi- 
graine sufferers have reported 
elaborate visual/perceptual/emo- 
tional distortions, which might 
serve as inspiration for stories. 
Carroll isn't known to have experi- 
enced these more elaborate ef- 
fects, but he did report seeing 
what looked to him like "moving 
fortifications" during migraines. 
(But it should never be forgotten 
that a vivid imagination is a vivid 
imagination, quite apart from any 
other factors, whether illness or 

As for taking opium medici- 
nally — Carroll probably did. Doc- 
tors and dentists at the time did 
not have many options for drugs 
that would relieve severe pain, and 
opium was the best option avail- 
able. (Opium was legal at the time, 
and could be bought without a 
prescription.) A toothache (or 
recovering after having a tooth 
pulled) , an ear infection, and an 

inflamed gall bladder are exam- 
ples of common ailments that 
would be so treated. So it's prob- 
able that Carroll took opium occa- 
sionally, and possible that on such 
occasions he experienced vivid 
dreams that could have influenced 
his writing. But there are so many 
doubtful factors — did he actually 
have occasion for such prescrip- 
tions, did he experience the kinds 
of vivid dreams that some opium- 
eaters (most famously, Coleridge 
and De Quincey) , but not all, have 
reported, is there any pattern of 
such illnesses at the right times to 
influence Carroll's writing, are 
there any elements common to 
opium-visions that are different 
from the kinds of daydreams imag- 
inative people not on drugs man- 
age for themselves unaided? The 
difficulties of getting definite, or 
even likely, answers to these ques- 
tions are so great that trying to 
answer them in regard to Carroll 
doesn't seem a useful approach. 
I think Andrew Sellon's comment, 
that Carroll, as a devout Anglican, 
could not have taken drugs recre- 
ationally overstates the probabili- 
ties. Opium was legal then. People 
were not as aware of either the 
physical bases of addiction or its 
dangers. Addiction, whether to 
alcohol, tobacco, or opium, was 
viewed as a problem of weakness 
of will, to be cured by exercise of 
willpower. So the difficulties of 
trying to cure addiction were not 
as obvious then as they are now. 
(When Arthur Conan Doyle de- 
cided that Holmes shouldn't go on 
taking drugs, he had Watson an- 
nounce — in a single sentence — 


that he had been able to "wean" 
Holmes from drugs. And as far as 
Watson and Holmes and the read- 
ers were concerned, it was simple 
as that.) 

So I don't think that Carroll 
would necessarily have con- 
demned recreational drug use as 
so dangerous as to be sinful. But 
neither do I think he tried such 
recreations himself. Since opium 
was legal, he wouldn't have had 
any special motive to avoid men- 
tioning any such experiments in 
his Diaries or in conversation, but 
he never mentioned any in his 
Diaries, and no one who knew him 
at the time mentioned him as 
speaking of trying any, so the like- 
lihood is that he didn't. 


Edward Wakeling 

"Did Lewis Carroll take drugs?" This 
is a common question these days. 
I was most interested in Andrew 
Sellon's response to such a ques- 
tion in the last issue of Knight Letter. 
There seems to be a view (not sure 
where it comes from) that Carroll 
took drugs to assist his imagination, 
to help him write the Alice books, 
and maybe just for recreational 
purposes. How much truth, if any, is 
there in this suggestion? 

The question about drug-taking 
usually comes from reporters, 
interviewers, media people, etc., 
but I've even had school students, 
undergraduates, and, amazingly, 
people writing biographies on 
Lewis Carroll, ask me this ques- 
tion! With the media, I usually 
adopt a different approach than 
Andrew, telling them that Carroll 
did take drugs! That usually takes 
the wind out of their sails. 

I go on to say that he consis- 
tently took drugs throughout his 
life, and had a box of them that he 
carried around with him. By now, 
their ears look like Mr. Spock's — 
very prominent and very pointed! 
I continue that, not only did he 
take these drugs himself, he also 

gave them to others, sometimes 
even to children! At this point, I 
see smoke coming out of their 
pointy ears, and they can't wait to 
get back to their office to write this 
all up! What a scoop, they think! 

I then go on to explain that 
Carroll was a keen exponent of ho- 
meopathic medicines, and kept a 
chest of these, fully stocked for 
emergencies. It is also known that 
he used other remedies, mainly 
herbal. The details are in his Dia- 
ries and Letters. He took homeo- 
pathic drugs in very small quanti- 
ties, and other herbal essences. He 
was friendly with other homeo- 
paths, including doctors who prac- 
tised this alternative medicine 
(such as Edward Barton Shuld- 
ham), and he had reference books 
on this subject in his library. He 
even gave books on homeopathy 
to his family and friends (I've seen 
inscribed copies). But no hard 
drugs such as laudanum (opium) 
or anything else passed his lips (as 
far as we can tell). Even alcohol 
(as Andrew rightly says) was taken 
in moderation, despite designing 
and building a new wine cellar for 
the Common Room, and being on 
the Christ Church Common Room 
Wine-Committee for nearly ten 
years. His interest in the Common 
Room wines was mainly in provid- 
ing for the needs of his colleagues, 
and the financial gain that could 
be made by buying wine in bulk 
and letting it mature over a period 
of years, although he liked a glass 
of wine with his evening meal. 

We are talking about a man 
who had an incredible imagina- 
tion, a true story-teller, a man who 
needed very little to spark his 
creative talents. Throughout his 
life he invented not only fantastic 
tales, but new and exciting 
branches of mathematics that 
extended current knowledge, and 
real practical inventions that are 
still in use today, such as the 
printed book jacket and the voting 
procedure known as proportional 
representation. This man was a 

born inventor. He didn't need 
drugs for stimulation — it came 

Let me provide some evidence 
of his homeopathic drug-taking. 
On April 20, 1878, he wrote in 
his diary {Diary 7, p. 105): "Two 
days of homeopathy (aconite and 
arsenic) seem to have cured the 
cold which had kept me in for 
several days. I put myself under 
Shuldham's care on Thursday." 
And here is an example of giving 
drugs to children, dated Septem- 
ber 1, 1879 (ibid., p. 205): "...went 
down to the beach, and found that 
Agnes Hull had cut her foot on a 
broken bottle. I carried her up to 
the road, and took her home in a 
bath-chair, and then had an op- 
portunity for a bit of amateur-doc- 
toring with 'calendula.'" There are 
many other examples (see Diary 
10, p. 96, for a list of references). 

I often find that being defen- 
sive is counter-productive, because 
the attitude of interviewers be- 
comes one of "so you really do 
have something to hide, eh?!" I 
prefer to beat them at their own 
game. In the end, I frequently say, 
"Shall I write up a piece for you?" 
To which the reply is invariably, 
"Oh, thanks, that would be really 
helpful." With so much nonsense 
written about our author, it's best 
to be prepared, and have the facts 
at your fingertips. 





compiled by Matt Demakos 

Of the 50,113 biographical entries 
in the Oxford Dictionary of National 
Biography, published on September 
23, 2004, sixty-six entries referred 
to Lewis Carroll, Charles Dodgson, 
or the Alice books. A short quota- 
tion from each of the sixty-six, 
gathered from the online version 
shortly after publication, is in- 
cluded below. For the sake of the 
presentation, the punctuation has 
been simplified. Parenthetical 


matters have been silently re- 
moved, especially when Carroll's 
pen name or real name appears in 
parentheses or when the publica- 
tion year of a book is given. All 
ellipses are reduced to the three- 
dot variety (excising commas and 
a fourth period even when techni- 
cally appropriate) and are com- 
pletely omitted at the end of a 
quotation, even if the original 
sentence is left incomplete. 

Richard Stewart Addinsell These 
included dramatizations of J. B. 
Priestley's The Good Companions 
. . . and Lewis Carroll's Alice in 

Princess Alice of Albany Lewis 
Carroll, who met this other Alice 
with the Cecil family at Hatfield 
House when she was six, described 
her as 'a sweet little girl, though 
with rather unruly spirits' 

Ethel Margaret Arnold Growing up in 
Oxford, as 'a chubby child of five' 
she met Lewis Carroll . . . and, with 
her sister . . . was often photo- 
graphed by him wearing Chinese 
clothes or beggars' rags 

Winifred Ashton (pseud. Clemence 
Dane) To the commercial stage 
Clemence Dane brought 
... Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 
and Through the Looking-Glass from 
Lewis Carroll 

Henry Mayo Bateman illustrated 
several books . . . Among his au- 
thors were Lewis Carroll, George 

Frances Bevan She was distant from 
family life . . . although she did 
take pleasure in the writings of 
Lewis Carroll 

Julian Faithfull Bickersteth with 
Alice Liddell, was one of the five 
or six little girls in Oxford on 
whom Lewis Carroll modelled his 
Alice in Wonderland 

Lucy Etheldred Broadiuood In 1921 
she published simple musical 
settings for Lewis Carroll's poetry 
in Alice in Wonderland and Through 
the Looking-Glass 

Julia Margaret Cameron Her rela- 
tionship with Charles Dodgson . . . 
was less friendly, and they dis- 
agreed professionally over the 
issue of focus 

Lucy Jane Clifford Her first rela- 
tively successful work, however, was 
a collection of children's verses ... 
signed L. C, which was errone- 
ously attributed by some to Lewis 

Alice Jane Cooper her correspon- 
dent Lewis Carroll saw a perfor- 
mance of Alice in Wonderland at the 

Edward Herbert Cooper The tales 
owed much to the suggestion of 
Lewis Carroll, but there was origi- 
nality in their execution 

Nancy Clara Cunard Based initially 
at a shop on the rue Guenegaud 
. . . and later at Le Puits Carre . . . 
the press published works by . . . 
Louis Aragon (his French transla- 
tion of Lewis Carroll's Snark) 

Dalziel family John Tenniel, who 
was later to bring to the firm his 
illustrations for Lewis Carroll's 

Alice in Wonderland . . . and Through 
the Looking Glass 

Henry Olive Daniel One of the 
most interesting productions of 
the Daniel Press, and perhaps the 
best-known, was The Garland of 
Rachel ... a celebration in verse of 
the first birthday of his daughter 
Rachel with contributions by An- 
drew Lang, Austin Dobson, Robert 
Bridges, Lewis CarroU, and 
Edmund Gosse 

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson author, 
mathematician, and photogra- 
pher, was born at Daresbury par- 
sonage, Cheshire 

Rowland Emett In his cartoon 
world Emett worked in that En- 
glish tradition of wildly exagger- 
ated humour which encompassed 
. . . the fantasy worlds of Edward 
Lear and Lewis Carroll 

Kenny Everett the Billiard Marker 
in composer Mike Batt's short- 
lived musical Snark 

Henry Buxton Forman This pro- 
gramme falsified the bibliography 
and thus the publishing history of 
Swinburne, Morris, Kipling, Lewis 

Thomas Foioler In the same math- 
ematical first classes was his friend 
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson . . . 
together the two read mathematics 
privately with Professor Bar- 
tholomew Price 

Henry Furniss Even so, he was dis- 
appointed, after a seven-year col- 
laboration, with Lewis Carroll's 

Sylvie and Bruno . . . and in the 
following year, with Sylvie and 
Bruno Concluded 

Margaret Gatty this monthly peri- 
odical published stories, natural 
history, songs, and miscellany by 
Juliana and others, including 
Lewis Carroll 

Helmut Gernsheim He rediscov- 
ered Charles Dodgson ... as a 
photographer, and found what 
is considered the earliest extant 

William Ewart Gladstone Charles 
Dodgson's anagrams of Glad- 
stone 's names caught the tone of 
rejection: 'A wild man will go at 
trees; Wild agitator! Means well; 
Wilt tear down all images?' 

Sir Francis Carruthers Gould He 
published several volumes of par- 
ody of Tenniel and Lewis Carroll 

Roger Gilbert Lancelyn Green his 
father enjoyed reading aloud to 
his children the books of an ear- 
lier generation of writers: Lewis 
Carroll, Rudyard Kipling, Andrew 
Lang, H. Rider Haggard 

Augustus George Vernon Harcourt 
He became a close friend of 
Charles Dodgson . . . and was, at 
least in part, the model for the 
White Knight 

Alice Pleasance Hargreaves proto- 
type of the character Alice, was 
made famous by Lewis Carroll 

Henry Holiday Holiday 's artistic 
versatility was impressive, ranging 
from illustrations for his friend 
Lewis Carroll's Snark ... to 


sculptural experiments such as 
Jacob 5 Ladder 

Arthur Hughes beginning with 
Dealings xoith the Fairies. These de- 
signs . . . attracted the attention of 
Lewis Carroll, who also became 
a family friend and who took 
photographs of Hughes and his 

James Hunt Charles Dodgson and 

George Macdonald were notable 
visitors in 1859 

Leonard Huxley As children, she 
[Julia Arnold, later Mrs. Leonard 
Huxley] and her two young sisters 
. . . caught the eye of Charles 
Dodgson ... in Oxford and be- 
came among his favourite photo- 
graphic models; he also invented a 
word game, 'doublets', in their 

Jean Ingeloiv Mopsa the Fairy . . . writ- 
ten in a graceful Pre-Raphaelite 
style reminiscent of George Mac- 
Donald or William Morris, and 
in a fantasy mode comparable to 
Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland 
or Christina Rossetti's Speaking 

Johnjaques In 1917 he married 
Irene Amy Dodgson, the niece of 
Lewis Carroll 

Philip Edward Bertrand Jourdain In 
an appendix Jourdain revealed 
many fine anticipations of these 
issues by Lewis Carroll, especially 
in the Alice books 

Alfred Dillwyn Knox Like his broth- 
ers, he was addicted to puzzles and 
a devotee of Charles L. Dodgson 

Elizabeth Nina Mary Frederica 
Lehmann the cycles Nonsense Songs, 
incorporating 'The Songs that 
Came out Wrong' from Alice in 

Rudolph John Frederick Lehmann 
engaged in literary journalism and 
reminiscence of reflective quality, 
especially in his popular studies 
Lewis Carroll . . . Virginia Wool/.. . 
and Rupert Brooke 

Henry George Liddell Cakeless 
. . . satirized the Liddells for their 
zeal in attempting to secure good 
marriages for their three eldest 
daughters, Lorina, Alice Harg- 

reaves (immortalized by Lewis 
Carroll) , and Edith 

Henry Parry Liddon Liddon visited 
Russia for two months in 1867 with 
Charles Dodgson, a friend of many 
years standing 

George MacDonald His wide range 
of friends included the Carlyles, 
William Morris, Edward Burne- 
Jones, Lord Tennyson, Octavia 
Hill, Dean Stanley, Matthew Ar- 
nold . . . Arthur Hughes . . . and 
Charles Dodgson 

Macmillan family Also in 1865, 
Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures 
in Wonderland was published, 
at 7s. dd. 

Maude Clementina, Viscountess 
Hawarden Among her admirers 
were O. G. Rejlander, and Lewis 
Carroll, who purchased five of her 
photographs now in the Gern- 
sheim collection 

Horace Mayhew reputedly the 
model for Sir John Tenniel's not- 
so-handsome white knight in the 
illustration for Lewis Carroll's 
Through the Looking Glass 

William Frend De Morgan one never 
knew there could be so many vari- 
eties of amiable dragon. Lewis 
CarroU admired his tiles, and had 
them installed in Christ Church, 

Hector Hugh Munro his fantastical 
humour owes much to Lewis 

Francis Paget Some sermons were 
published separately, including 
The Virtue of Simplicity, a gift surely 
erroneously applied to C. L. 
Dodgson and H. G. Liddell, whom 
it fell to Paget to commemorate 
together in March 1898 

Mervyn Laurence Peake He also 
provided the much-admired illus- 
trations for Ride-a-Cock-Horse and 
other Nursery Rhymes, which drew 
out the darkest implications of the 
stories, and, on the strength of 
those, for Lewis Carroll's Snark, 
where Peake found an absurdist 
spirit to rival his own 

Sir Charles Edward Pollock Pollock 
was married three times: first on 1 
September 1848 to Nicola Sophia 
... second on 25 May 1858 to 
Georgiana . . . third on 23 Decem- 
ber 1865 to Amy Menella, daugh- 
ter of Hassard Hume Dodgson, 
master of the court of common 
pleas and cousin of Charles 
Lutwidge Dodgson 

Dennis Christopher George Potter He 
dramatized Martin Cruz Smith's 
novel Gorky Park for the cinema 
and wrote a screenplay, Dreamchild, 
in which he revisited the relation- 
ship between Lewis Carroll and 
Alice Liddell with considerably 
more skill and sensitivity than in 
his early play Alice 

Bartholomew Price His omniscience 
in university business was hinted at 
in Lewis Carroll's lines: Twinkle, 
twinkle little bat. How I wonder 
what you're at 

Oscar Gustaf Rejlander Rejlander 
photographed several illustrious 
sitters, including Alfred Tennyson 
. . . Charles Dodgson . . . Henry 
Taylor . . . Charles Darwin 

Sir Dennis Holme Robertson he pep- 
pered his books and essays with 
literary allusions and quotations, 
especially from Lewis Carroll's 
'Alice' books, which became a 
characteristic feature 

Annie Mary Anne Henley Rogers 
family well integrated in Oxford 
society — she was among the chil- 
dren entertained with stories and 
photographed by Lewis Carroll 

Christina Georgina Rossetti There is 
little record of her acquaintance 
with Charles Dodgson, Barbara 
Bodichon, or Algernon Swinburne 

William Michael Rossetti Portraits by 
D. G. Rossetti, F. M. Brown, A. 
Hughes, J. E. Millais, W. B. Scott, 
A. Legros, and H. Gilchrist survive, 
as do photographs by Julia Marga- 
ret Cameron and Lewis Carroll 

Paul Alfred Rubens Although he 
had no formal musical training, he 
also began writing songs in Ox- 
ford, among them a set for a stage 
production of Alice in Wonderland 


in which Charles Dodgson took a 

John Ruskin Like other men of his 
class and culture — for instance, his 
future Oxford colleague Charles 
Dodgson — Ruskin enjoyed the 
company of young girls 

John Russell any fine Sunday a 
stream of visitors might be seen 
making their way out of town to 
Pembroke Lodge . . . Dean Stanley 
had a short train journey from 
Westminster, and Charles 
Dodgson, Goldwin Smith, and H. 
G. Liddell a slightly longer one 
from Oxford 

Menella Bute Smedley In July 1855 
she was instrumental in showing 
the early comic work of Charles 
Dodgson to her cousin Frank, 
through whose good offices it was 
published in the Comic Times 

Pleasance Reeve On her ninety- 
ninth birthday she received a card 
from her great-niece, Alice Pleas- 
ance Liddell, the little girl Lewis 
Carroll immortalized in Alice in 

Sir John Tenniel He illustrated such 
books as S. C. Hall's The Book of 
British Ballads; Aesop 's Fables; 
Thomas Moore's Lalla Rookh; Rich- 
ard Barham's The Ingoldsby Legends; 
and, most famously, Lewis Car- 
roll's two classics, Alice's Adventures 
in Wonderland and Through the 

Hallam Tennyson The boys were 
often dressed in identical tunics 
with lace fineries, scarlet stockings, 
and strapped slippers. Charles 
Dodgson photographed them in 
1857, remarking that they were 
the most beautiful boys he had 
ever seen 

Dame Irene Vanbrugh, Irene Barnes 
On Boxing day of the same year 
she made her London debut, on 
the recommendation of Lewis 
Carroll, as the White Queen and 
the Jack of Hearts in a revival of 
Alice in Wonderland at the Globe 

Isaac Watts in the same period the 
Divine Songs, imitated and paro- 
died in very different ways by Wil- 
liam Blake in Songs of Innocence 
and Lewis Carroll in Alice in Won- 
derland, reached the height of 
their fame 

John Campbell Wells He wrote a 
delightful history of the London 
Library, Rude Words, and at the end 
of his life The House of Lords: an 
Unofficial History, as well as a novel, 
adaptations of Lewis Carroll for 
radio, and many librettos and 



Mark Burstein 

Extraordinarily high-quality page- 
by-page facsimiles of a number of 
exceptional editions of Carroll 
works can be found online at "Li- 
braries Without Walls" (LWW) at 
(click on the link under Image 
Collections at left) . The Wladyslaw 
Poniecki Charitable Foundation 
was founded to provide libraries, 
including the Vatican, with ultra- 
high-resolution digital image cap- 
ture of rare and precious books 
and art works. Based on a technol- 

ogy inherited from the Octavo 
project ( and 
displayed with the incomparable 
Lura Tech engine (www.luratech. 
com), the interface is so astonish- 
ing that it almost seems as if you 
are holding the book in your 

At this writing, it contains early 
Wonderland editions in Dutch, 
Esperanto (ill.: LeFanu), Farsi, 
French (Rackham, Tenniel), Ger- 
man (Birnbaum, Tenniel), Greek, 
Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Roma- 
nian, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, 
and English (Maybank, McManus, 
Pease, Pogany, Rackham, Charles 
Robinson, Rountree, and Winter), 
and the Looking-glass companion 
to the gorgeous German Birn- 
baum edition, all scanned from 
books in the Burstein Collection. 

There is a small bug, which 
LWW has promised to fix, which 
causes the recto and verso pages to 
appear at slightly different heights. 
A minor distraction. 

The unrelated International 
Children's Digital Library (www. has two others, 
Alice in Words of One Syllable (1905) 
and the 1918 Gabriel edition (Gor- 
don Robinson) of Wonderland, 
using a different reader. 

Based on the concept of a Uni- 
versal Library, the Internet Archive 
(, provider of 
accessible backups of the entire 
Web every two weeks ( ! ) dating 
back to 1996, not to mention an 
enormous collection of "live" and 
recorded music and spoken word, 
movies, texts, and software {KL 
73:39) deserves mention. They 
have been intimately involved in 
the LWW project, and have 
scanned the second set of seven 
books, above, for use by LWW, as 
well as on their own site. 

There are some wondrous trea- 
sures now available for all; many 
thanks are due to Jane White and 
Brewster Kahle, and especially to 
Czeslaw (Chet) Grycz for seeing it 



Story by Tommy Kovac, 

Illustrations by Sonny Liew 

Published by Slave Labor Graphics 

and Disney Publishing 

Reviewed by Andrew Sellon 

So you thought you knew all about 
Wonderland, eh? Well, strange 
bedfellows Disney and Slave Labor 
Graphics have joined forces to give 
us a very different perspective on 
Carroll's world, filtered through 
the delightfully off-kilter minds of 
writer Tommy Kovac and artist 
Sonny Liew. Visually, we're in a 
slightly ragged, skewed version of 
the Wonderland depicted in the 
Disney cartoon. The blond, sweet, 
and wholesome Disney Alice is 
nowhere in sight, and passing 
references to her by other charac- 
ters are not flattering. Instead, 
who should come hurrying down 
the path but our new heroine, the 
other litde girl in Wonderland. 
Um, other? For a minute there, I'll 
bet you forgot Mary Ann, the 
White Rabbit's maid. Granted, 
Carroll never actually tells us that 
Mary Ann is a little girl; we just 
know the White Rabbit mistakes 
Alice for her. That fact clearly set 
Kovac's creative juices flowing. In 
this zany spinoff, it's the hereto- 
fore never-seen Mary Ann who 
takes center stage, interacting with 
a familiar cast of characters — the 
Cheshire Cat, the Queen of 
Hearts, and others — along with a 
few not generally illustrated (like 
Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie, all looking 
very ill indeed). Like Carroll, the 
creators of this Wonderland have 
given their leading lady a very 
distinct personality. Mary Ann the 
maid is, fittingly, a neat freak. 
When we first meet her, she's run- 
ning late (she does work for the 
White Rabbit, after all) because 
she stopped to remove a smudge 
from her apron. The talking par- 
rot handle of her feather duster (a 
playful nod to Mary Poppins) 
tartly observes that it was actually 
only a shadow she was scrubbing 
so frantically, giving us a hint of 

0^ ^''^ X. 

the darker side of Mary Ann's 
obsessive tendencies. Mary Ann 
cannot tolerate uncleanliness, 
particularly on her own person. 
When her spotless uniform is com- 
promised, well, it isn't pretty. But 
it is pretty funny. I don't want to 
give away too much of the plot, so 
I'll just tell you that there is a plot. 
By which I mean there's a plot. 
Going on within the plot. Who's 
behind it, and what are they after? 
My lips are sealed. Are there new 
characters as well as Carroll's fa- 
miliar ones? Yes, indeed. Kovac 
and Liew have provided them in 
spades. That's a hint. To know 
more, you'll just have to read the 
story. Start to finish, you'll be 
treated to Kovac's drolly daft dia- 
logue, and Liew's sly smirching of 
the original squeaky-clean Disney 
images. Disney should be ap- 
plauded for seeking out SLG, 
Kovac, and Liew, and giving them 
free rein to create their own 
warped vision of Wonderland. 
Once you're ensconced in this 
alternate unreality, you may even 
find yourself becoming as fond of 
Mary Ann as you already are of 
Alice, which is no small compli- 
ment to Kovac and Liew. This 
Wonderland is currently available 
from SLG ( in 
the original six paperback comic 
issues, and will also be released in 
January 2009 in a hardcover com- 
pilation edition by Disney Publish- 
ing, available wherever books are 
sold. What's a collector to do? Buy 
both versions, of course! 

Alice in Wonderland: 

An Adult Musical Comedy 

DVD, Subversive Cinema, 2008 

Reviewed by Mark Burstein 

This is a mostly welcome, "defini- 
tive" re-release of an odd movie 
with a somewhat twisted history. 
The "adult" film industry was in its 
infancy when Bill Osco, producer 
of the first full-length film to re- 
ceive an X rating, Mona (1970), 
and the excellent Flesh Gordon in 
1974, and Bud Townsend, director 
of a handful of "B" beach-sploit- 
ation and horror films, collabo- 
rated on what one might assume 
to be sui generis, a musical comedy 
skin-flick based on a children's 
classic. (But the very next year 
another one, Cinderella, was 

Originally released in Decem- 
ber 1976 with an X rating, it was 
then picked up by the venerable 
20th Century Fox, who cut three 
minutes to obtain an R rating, and 
then, two years later, was re-cut 
with added hardcore scenes shot 
with some of the original actors 
(but not its Alice, Kristine DeBell), 
resulting in an XXX-rated version. 
Only two of these versions (not the 
three announced — the R is miss- 
ing, as is the announced 
soundtrack CD) are included on 
this DVD, along with an overlong 
featurette containing self-serving, 
occasionally misguided, but infor- 
mative commentary by Bill Mar- 
gold, a personable and witty adult 
film actor, director, historian, activ- 
ist, and apologist; not pardcularly 
insightful remarks by adult actress 
Lena Ramone; and misremem- 
bered, self-deluded observations by 
cast member Larry Gelman, who 
played the White Rabbit and who 
has had a successful mainstream 
career in film and television. 

The movie itself is mildly enter- 
taining. If you do watch it, the X is 
far superior to the XXX in both 
transfer quality and the fact that 
the added gratuitous, mismatched, 
bad-70s hardcore footage in the 


latter jarringly interrupts the flow. 
Even in the X, Miss DeBell is in 
only a few of the softer-core scenes; 
a double is used for most of the 
skin-flick footage. Given that this 
film has the earnestness of Ed 
Wood, dialogue as stilted as any- 
thing Lucas ever came up with, a 
sort of Up with People, Love Boat 
sensibility, and eroticism straight 
out of Benny Hill, today's viewer 
might be befuddled by the times in 
which it was made — the Swingin' 
Seventies. But when placed next to 
other iconic cinema of that era — 
Russ Meyer and Roger Ebert's 
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Otto 
Preminger's Skidoo, and the like — 
it fares rather well in a so-bad-it's- 
good sort of way. 

The songs are forgettable (if 
you're lucky), although DeBell has 
a nice voice (assuming that it is 
she singing) and remains on-key, 
which cannot be said of the sup- 
porting cast. There is a light- 
hearted innocence in the film 
quite removed from today's porn 
industry, which includes a half- 
dozen triple-X versions of Wonder- 
land, none of them musical, hu- 
morous, or charming in the least. 
In addition, there were attempts at 
a script, acceptable production 
values, acting talent, and unmodi- 
fied natural bodies, not to men- 
tion music, dancing, and a certain 
air of freshness and fun. The only 
truly disturbing thing for me was 
how much Alan Novak (The Hat- 
ter) physically resembles Mr. 
Dodgson, an aspect which, most 
fortunately, was not exploited. 

This movie is said, hyperboli- 
cally I'm sure, to have grossed over 
$90 million worldwide, making it 
one of the most successful adult 
films ever Much as it's enjoyable 
today for its historical or camp 
value, if nothing else, I doubt that 
Mr. Dodgson would have been 
much amused. 

An Annotated International 

Bibliography of Lewis Carroll's 

Sylvie and Bruno Books 

by Byron Sewell and Clare Imholtz 

The British Library 

(ISBN 9780712350068) 

and Oak Knoll Press 

ISBN 9781584562122, 

September 2008 
Reviewed by Ray Kiddy 

Reading a bibliography is not like 
reading a novel, and one usually 
does not go from beginning to 
end. But I found myself reading 
LCSNA members Byron Sewell and 
Clare Imholtz's An Annotated 
International Bibliography of Lewis 
Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno Books 
from front to back. Every page 
pulled me forward, making me 
wonder what strange fact or odd 
little detail I was going to find 

One would not think there 
would be much to say about these 
books. After all, no matter how 
you feel about them, it must be 
recognized that the LCSNA does 
not exist because of Sylvie and 
Bruno and Sylvie and Bruno Con- 
cluded. But this bibliography helps 
one to see that Lewis Carroll tried 
to present a cohesive vision in 
these stories. The fact that his 
chaotic imagination triumphed 
over its Victorian restrictions 
leaves us glad he failed to do so, 
while sympathizing with what he 
tried to do. Sometimes a bibliogra- 
phy impresses us with its structure 
and unity, but in this case it is 
fitting that the bibliography is a 
soup, a melange of strange images, 
odd coincidences, and bright 
photographs. It is, oddly enough, 
fun to read. 

At first the book seems, in true 
Carrollian fashion, to contain 
more information than could 
possibly exist about the Sylvie and 
Bruno books. But the depth and 
detail presented here show that 
there is more to say, that there are 
stories within the stories, and that 
there are as many interpretations 
of the works of Lewis Carroll as 

there are interpreters. One learns 
of some of the variations, such as 
"Bruno's Revenge." Anne Clark 
Amor's essay, which starts this 
book, does a convincing job of 
connecting Lewis Carroll's stories 
to people and events in and 
around Victorian Oxford. Interest- 
ing questions are raised in some of 
the notes about possible forgeries 
and states referred to but not to be 

In fact, one does not need to be 
overly impressed or even overly 
familiar with the Sylvie and Bruno 
books to see value here. Lewis 
Carroll, when he wrote these 
books, was no longer an unknown 
mathematician and churchman. 
He was famous, spoke to groups 
about his books and about current 
issues, and was well connected to 
the literati of the day. The census 
of presentation copies of both 
books, courtesy of Edward 
Wakeling, shows the depth of 
Lewis Carroll's connections to 
society and the publishing world. 
One can even find lists of contem- 
porary reviews of the books and of 
modern works that make use of 
the Sylvie and Bruno stories in some 
manner. For books that are usually 
not highly spoken of, much seems 
to have been said about them. 

Oak Knoll Press is offering a 20% 
discount off the list price to LCSNA 
members through September; be sure 
to mention your membership when 

The House on Fortune Street 

by Margot Livesey 

HarperCollins, 2008 

ISBN: 9780061451522 

Reviewed by Clare Imholtz 

Lewis Carroll's relationship with 
little girls presents an ongoing 
problematical issue for those 
Carrollians who are convinced that 
Carroll was not a pedophile. 
Whether we like it or not, and 
despite a total lack of evidence, 
Lewis Carroll has become a cul- 
tural representation of pedophilia, 
a figure of ridicule and condemna- 


tion. This is almost certainly due 
to his photography, the black art 
(as it has turned out) that Carroll/ 
Dodgson might never have taken 
up had he known what it would do 
to his good name. 

In this intelligent, readable, 
and likable novel, Margot Livesey 
presents a situation or personality 
that she believes, correctly or not, 
to be personified by Lewis Carroll. 
Her character Cameron, suppos- 
edly like Carroll, is drawn to pho- 
tography and to little girls, and of 
course to photography of little 
girls. Cameron believes that pho- 
tography is a "safe" way of express- 
ing his not quite entirely conscious 
pedophiliac interest, while protest- 
ing to himself he has no desire to 
molest the girls he photographs. 
Cameron is drawn to Carroll/ 
Dodgson (who is referred to by 
both names in the novel) and sees 
him as a kind of role model. 

Livesey 's novel, unlike so many 
references to Carroll in the popu- 
lar media, abjures the knowing 
wink, the leer, the sneer that typi- 
cally accompany ill-informed con- 
demnations of "Carroll's pedo- 
philia." Hers seems to be an honest 
attempt to explore the notion of 
an attraction that, while sexual, 
never leads nor wishes in any con- 
scious manner to lead to an overt 
act of abuse, and the effect this 
attraction has on not only Cam- 
eron, but others in his life, particu- 
larly his daughter Dara. The nov- 
el's theme is secrets, the harm they 
can do, and Cameron's attraction 
to litde girls is the biggest secret of 
all. But I do not wish to spoil the 
book's rather intricate plot by 
saying more. This is a well-written 
and thoughtful novel. Livesey even 
includes a brief acknowledgments 
page listing books she consulted. 
Yet it is also one more unfortunate 
proof that in the modern mind 
Lewis Carroll is no longer the bril- 
liant and amusing man who wrote 
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; he 
is a cultural representation of the 
child abuser. Facts don't get in 
the way. 

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 

Illustrated by Oleg Lipchenko 

Published 2007 by Studio 

Treasure, Toronto, Canada 

ISBN: 978-0-9783613-0-3 
Reviewed by Andrew Sellon 

I first met artist Oleg Lipchenko 
and his wife Nataliya at the 
LCSNA's fall 2006 meeting in New 
York City. At that time, Oleg had 
with him a large portfolio of origi- 
nal renderings for his planned 
new edition of Alice's Adventures in 
Wonderland, which he graciously 
shared with anyone who ex- 
pressed interest. I remember sit- 
ting with the portfolio on my lap, 
turning page after page with a 
growing surge of delight and ad- 
miration at the astonishing cre- 
ativity and draftsmanship before 
me. There were so many things to 
admire, I truly felt as though I was 
glimpsing someone's personal 
wonderland. The layout was sim- 
ply stunning. Everywhere my eye 
fell there were vividly realized 
characters and images, almost a 
giddy surfeit of fascinating cre- 
ations pouring across the pages. I 
say "pouring" advisedly, because 
one of the most satisfying ele- 
ments of Oleg's design scheme is 
the dreamlike fluidity of the im- 
ages, and how smoothly he swirls 
the black, white, and sepia visual 
elements through and around the 
artfully placed text. Characters 
and objects seem almost to melt 
across the pages as vivid, surreal 
images might float about in a 
dreamer's mind. The choice of 
color palette and the painstaking 
specificity of the pen and ink 
detailing are simultaneously Victo- 
rian and timeless. Oleg told me 
that (like Lewis Carroll) he was 
self-publishing the book to main- 
tain complete artistic control of 
his personal vision. Now that the 
finished book is in my hands, I 
can only applaud that brave, 
doubtless expensive decision. 
The hardcover edition is el- 
egantly simple on the outside: 

plain milk-chocolate-colored 
boards, with the flowing title em- 
bossed in gold on the cover. The 
book has been beautifully printed 
by The Stinehour Press in Ver- 
mont, closely supervised by Oleg. 
While perhaps no printing process 
will ever capture the breathtaking 
beauty of an artist's original ren- 
derings, this book is probably as 
close as one could hope to come: 
substantial and handsome paper 
stock, crisply rendered black de- 
tailing, warm sepia tones. The end 
papers greet you with an elegant 
collage of the amusing character- 
izations you will meet inside; these 
pages alone would be worth the 
price of the book. Btit there is ever 
so much more discovery awaiting 
the reader, always beautifully bal- 
anced with the text. This is one of 
those editions whose pages you 
simply can't wait to turn, to see 
what unique vision will greet you 
next. I would be hard-pressed to 
pick a favorite characterization 
from the eccentrics on display. I 
will say that Oleg's Alice would 
likely lose a staring match with 
Tenniel's, but she does have sim- 
ple beauty, and a quiet grace and 
openness of her own. Understand- 
ably, it's with the denizens of Won- 
derland that Oleg's quasi-Dicken- 
sian, quasi-cartoonish artistry 
shines — the clueless and hapless 
Bill, the argyle-sweatered professo- 
rial Tortoise, the sad-eyed and 
bulbous-nosed Hatter, and so 
many more. 

I can only hope that Oleg will 
also do the second Alice book, and 
in less than the thirty years it took 
to produce this gem. It's not an 
inexpensive edition (it's limited to 
226 copies, some already sold, and 
it's just been announced that the 
Stinehour Press is regrettably clos- 
ing down), but if you can manage 
it, do yourself a favor: buy a copy 
from Oleg's website while you still 
can, curl up in a cozy chair in a 
quiet room like Alice at the begin- 
ning of Looking-Glass, and enjoy 
the trip to Wonderland all over 
again, courtesy of Lewis Carroll 
and Oleg Lipchenko. 



Phoebe in Wonderland 
Revieioed by Stephanie Lovett 

Those of us who know our Alice are 
inevitably of at least two minds 
whenever another playwright/ 
choreographer/ director/visual 
artist/musician/performance artist 
sticks a shovel in the rich compost 
heap (and I mean that in a good 
way! ) that is the Carroll legacy. We 
cheer the continuing vibrant life of 
the stories, characters, and themes. 
We cringe when the ninety-times- 
ninth artist thinks she's the first 
one to notice there are dark cor- 
ners and dangerous back alleys in 
the books. We're happy it all con- 
tinues to mean so much to people. 
We're not so happy at the spread 
of misinformation. We're so proud 
our girl is all grown up and suc- 
cessful out there in the world — but 
we don't always like the people 
she's dating. 

Alice has a movie date this year 
with director Daniel Barnz, whose 
film Phoebe in Wonderland has 
played at the Sundance and River- 
Run film festivals and is scheduled 
to open in theaters in the fall. 
Barnz wrote this little indie film, 
and was able to get it produced 
when his neighbor Felicity Huff- 
man agreed to play the mother. 
With the addidon of Bill Pullman 
as the father, Elle Fanning as 
Phoebe, and the riveting Patricia 
Clarkson as the drama teacher, the 

film should receive a mainstream 
release after the summer block- 
busters have closed. Fanning stars 
as a quirky and creative litde girl 
whose life is becoming consumed 
by her need to perform ritualized 
behaviors. Her unhappiness at 
school is transformed by being cast 
as Alice in the school play, and 
more specifically by the sensitive 
and liberating teaching methods of 
Clarkson 's character. 

The film's greatest weakness is 
the plot itself: the two big plot 
points are Phoebe's struggle with 
her emotional/behavioral issues 
and her mother's guilt and anger 
over her situation as a mother who 
is also a writer (she's working on a 
scholarly study of Alice in Wonder- 
land), as she feels she's simultane- 
ously sacrificing each job to the 
other. The personal, feminine, and 
domestic nature of these issues 
gives the movie what we used to 
call a movie-of-the-week but now 
call a "Lifetime Channel" quality. 
In this regard, Bill Pullman's per- 
formance as the concerned father 
adds some needed ballast. 

For an audience mainly inter- 
ested in how this film makes use of 
its source material, the news is 
considerably better. Phoebe in Won- 
derland is beautiful and atmo- 
spheric — neither cute nor disturb- 
ing — in its use of the Wonderland 
concept. The Wonderland we see 
both in the school play and in 
Phoebe's imaginings is a refuge 
from a disagreeable reality and 
also a means for Phoebe to process 
the situations and people in her 
real life. This kind of healthy and 
powerful dream therapy is too 
seldom the subject of A/ic^inspired 
works, and seems to me to be par- 
ticularly true to Carroll's inten- 
tions. Lastly, Barnz has said that he 
went into this project wanting to 
make something for all the weird 
kids who felt excluded when grow- 
ing up. This film is an endearing 
realization of that intention, and it 
should find a grateful audience — 
though perhaps one sad at not 
having had a champion like 





At New York's David 
Zwirner Gallery, January 
10 through February 9, 
Diana Thater's installation 
"Here is a text about the 
world...," featured several 
"monitor works" that 
showed reenactments of 
historical chess games, as 
well as one called "Off 
with Their Heads!" based 
on the game from TTLG: 
exhibitions/ 1 46/work_ 

Portland digital-collage artist Ken- 
neth Rougeau had an exhibit of 
his Wonderland-inspired works, 
"Through the Looking Glass," 
at the Quirks of Art Gallery 
( in Port- 
land, Oregon, through April. His 
works can also be viewed and pur- 
chased at 
php?user_id=5 177790. 

The "Hugo Strikes Back!" website 
has an exhaustive, if not com- 
pletely comprehensive, listing of 
A/zc^ illustrators at http://hugo-sb. 

An exhibit at Kunstkerk Dordrecht 
(Dordrecht, the Netherlands) in 
March and April included Alice- 
inspired paintings by Sarah Yu 
Zeebroek, and a reading/perfor- 
mance of Manifestation Alice in 
Wonderland by Foundation de 
LuiaardVrouwe, followed by high 
tea. Visit for 
more information, and to see a 
watercolor of Dordrecht by Dean 

Starting March 28 and continuing 
for a year, the A/?c^inspired "Sea- 
sons Through the Looking Glass" 
installation decorates the tunnel 
entrance of London's Victoria and 
Albert Museum: 

Sue Johnson's "Alice Redux" pan- 
orama was on display at New York 
City's Schroeder Romero/Winkl- 
eman Gallery Project Space 
through April 26. "The 20-foot- 
long panorama imagines Alice 
grown up and finding her way 
through a dream world cluttered 
by the flotsam and jetsam of mod- 
ern consumer culture. Advertising 
images of everyday products ap- 
pear alongside allusions to the 
Lewis Carroll tale, making the 
work a contemporary fantasia of 
incongruous imagery." http:// 

Xanthic Eye's Wonderlost series of 
paintings gives the Wonderland 
characters the look of pale white 
porcelain dolls, with white cloth- 
ing and black and blood-red de- 
tails ... some of which are actually 
blood. These "black, and white, 
and red all over" pictures can be 
viewed at http://wonderlost. 

"Through the Looking-Glass," an 
exhibit at the Leigh Yawkey Wood- 
son Art Museum in Wausau, Wis- 
consin (, displayed 
a selection of art and items from 
LCSNA member Joel Birenbaum's 
collection from April 19 to June 
22, 2008. Friday, April 18, was the 
pre-opening viewing of the ex- 
hibit, where the 200 museum 
members in attendance enjoyed 
the alternate views of Alice repre- 
sented by the art of Charles Black- 

man, Robert Doucette, 
Ann Ingerson, Dominic 
Murphy, and Charles 
Ware. The sculpture of the 
Cheshire Cat with Joel's 
face by Graham Piggott 
was also on display, watch- 
ing the watchers, as it 
were. In conjunction with 
the exhibit. Storybook 
Weekend Events per- 
formed Alice In Wonderland 
on Saturday, April 26, as 
well as hosting "Mad 
Hatter's Tea Party" and 
"Queen's Croquet" events: 

Adelaide (Australia) photographer 
Harmony Nicholas exhibited at 
Adelaide's Citadel Exhibition 
Space from April 6 to 11, 2008. 
Much of her work plays with im- 
ages from Alice in Wonderland, with 
a grown woman dressed in the 
part; her blue frock and blondness 
seem (ironically or otherwise) 
derived from Disney rather than 
Tenniel directly. Images can be 
viewed at http://dalaiharma. . 

John Tenniel's original illustra- 
tions for Alice's Adventures in Won- 
derland were exhibited at the Piece 
Hall Art Gallery and Visitor Centre 
in Halifax, U.K., from January 15 to 
March 9: 

The Arthur Rackham Treasury 
(Dover, 2005, ISBN-13: 978- 
0486446851) is a collection of 
eighty-six paintings, with "our girl" 
on the cover. 


In "The great unknown," John 
Mullan discusses how an author's 
"anonymity is often a sure route to 
notoriety," and discusses the 
lengths to which Charles Dodgson 
went to deny being Lewis Carroll: 
The Guardian, ]^nu2Lr)' 12, 2008, 


The literary techniques and inno- 
vations of Lewis Carroll are dis- 
cussed in the article "Apertures in 
the House of Fiction: Novel Meth- 
ods and Child Study, 1870—1910," 
by Holly Blackford, in The Chil- 
dren 's Literature Association Quar- 
terly, Winter 2007, Vol. 32, No. 4, 
pp. 368-89. 

Professor Alan T. Bull's "Alice in 
Actinoland, and looking-glass 
tales" {SIM News, pp. 221-30, 
November/December 2007, Soci- 
ety for Industrial Microbiology) 
uses A/Wand TTLG as starting 
points for "a personal odyssey of 
discoveries and an airing of issues 
that ... bear on current actinomy- 
cete research." (What are actino- 
mycetes, you ask? Well, they might 
be small fungi or they might be 
large bacteria or.... The author 
seems to be poking fun at his own 
field by using references to a work 
that is known to be nonsense.) 

Subscribers to Nature magazine (or 
those who wish to pay $32 for the 
privilege) can read "From Alice to 
everywhere, with love," a short 
science fiction story by Chaz 
nature /journal/v452/n7l83/ 
full/452 126a.html. 

On March 17, 2008, the Leeds 
[U.K.] Centre for Victorian Stud- 
ies held the 19th Northern Victo- 
rian Studies Colloquium on Victo- 
rian Ethics. In the "Children and 
Literature" section, Zoe Jaques 
(Anglia Ruskin University) gave a 
talk on "Alice's Moral Wonder- 
land: Lewis Carroll and Animal 
Ethics": http://www.leedstrinity. 

The University of Kent (www.kent. offered a "day school" at its 
Tonbridge campus on May 17, 
2008, titled "Two Eccentrics: Lewis 
Carroll and Oscar Wilde," which 
promised "to look at the back- 
grounds and associates of these 
two writers including reference to 
the style of their houses and the 

influences of the period . . . and 
studying passages from their work, 
especially the controversial 
[hmmm. ..-Ed.] Alice in Wonderland 
and Wilde's decadent The Picture of 
Dorian Gray. We will see how their 
lives impacted on the society of 
the times and assess the lasting 
legacy of their literary work." A 
day's work, indeed. 

The Teaching Company (www. offers the course 
"Masterpieces of the Imaginative 
Mind: Literature's Most Fantastic 
Works," on CD and DVD, which 
discusses Carroll and his works: 

"Alice's Adventures in Tenure- 
land" {Inside Higher Ed, January 28, 
2008) describes how Alice's pre- 
dicament mirrors that of many 
professors who embrace interdisci- 
plinary research but find trouble 
parlaying it into career advance- 

A conference on April 20 and 21, 
2009, will accompany the British 
Library Exhibition "Twinkle Twin- 
kle Litde Bat! 250 Years of Poetry 
for Children," organized in asso- 
ciation with University of Cam- 
bridge Faculty of Education. Key- 
note speakers will include Lissa 
Paul and Michael Rosen. Work- 
shops by British Library archivists 
will include tracing children's 
poetry in British Library collec- 
tions, modern literature manu- 
scripts, modern British printed 
collections, manuscript resources 
for children's poetry, and chil- 
dren's poetry in sound archives. 
Those wishing to present papers 
are asked to send abstracts of 500 
words to Morag Styles (msl04@ by October 30, 2008, 
on the following topics: history of 
poetry for children, critical exami- 
nation of outstanding poets for 
children, the influence of Roman- 
ticism on children's poetry, Victo- 
rian poetry for children, contem- 
porary poetry for children, themes 

and debates within the field, 
changing representations of 
childhood in poetry for children, 
humor in poetry for children, 
illustrating poetry for children, 
Caribbean poetry and perfor- 
mance, the oral tradition, "urchin 
verse," the role of moral and reli- 
gious ideas in children's poetry, 
children's poetry and the "audi- 
tory imagination," and poetry and 

The University of Southern Cali- 
fornia's Wonderland Awards were 
presented on April 30. First place 
went to graduate student Arvind 
Iyer for "The Lewis Carroll Limer- 
icks Contest: 'Musings in Eight 
Fittings,'" consisting of eighteen 
limericks in the style of Snark: 
news/2008/05/01 /News/Wonder- 
land.Awards. Commemorate. Lewis. 


The three-volume edition of Lives 
of Victorian Literary Figures, Part VI: 
Carroll, Stevenson and Swinburne by 
Their Contemporaries (Pickering Sc 
Chatto Publishers, 2008, ISBN 
9781851969050)— the Carroll 
volume is edited by Edward 
Wakeling — draws together in fac- 
simile a range of biographical 
sources, with diary extracts, letters, 
memoirs, and other ephemeral 
material, allowing scholars to see 
these figures through the eyes of 
their contemporaries. The con- 
tents are listed online, and sample 
pages can be viewed at www.picker- 
Vic Lives Vol Ol.pdf. And that's as 
close as most of us will get. The 
three volumes (which are not sold 
separately) retail for $495.00. 

Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars, 
Volume 1 (Desperado Publishing, 
2007, ISBN 978-0979593956) col- 
lects issues 1-4 of the eponymous 
comic by Frank Beddor and illus- 
trated by Ben Templesmith. 


Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren 't 
Fair (and What We Can Do About It), 
by William Poundstone (Hill & 
Wang, 2008, ISBN 978- 
0809048939), includes a chapter 
on Lewis Carroll's efforts to solve 
deficiencies in voting procedures. 

Graphic-novel publisher Papercutz 
is revitalizing the "Classics Illus- 
trated" line of comic books, and 
will bring back titles published by 
First/Berkley that have long been 
out of print, including illustrator 
Kyle Baker's Through the Looking 
Glass, in September: www.paper 

Victoria Blake's mystery Cutting 
Blades takes place in London and 
Oxford, and features several 
scenes in the (fictitious, unfortu- 
nately) Mad Hatter Bar run by a 
descendant of Theophilus Carter, 
the eccentric inventor often con- 
sidered an inspiration for the 
Hatter. The bar's drinks are 
named after Wonderland charac- 
ters (a "Jabberwock With Eyes of 
Flame" bears a striking resem- 
blance to a margarita) , and a 
happy hour discount is given to 
patrons who dress in appropriate 
costume. Berkley Prime Crime, 
New York, 2005. 

LCSNA member Charlie Lovett's 
first novel, The Program (Pearlsong 
Press, Nashville, 2008, ISBN 
9781597190138) features several 
scenes that take place near the 
ATWstatue in New York's Central 

Congratulations to Bryan Talbot: 
While not the final winner, his 
Alice in Sunderland vj^is on the 
shortlist for the British Science 
Fiction Association's Best Novel 
award of 2007. Winners were an- 
nounced at Eastercon/Orbital 
convention in March: www.bsfa. 

Marvel Comics continues its fairy 
tale/superhero crossovers with 
Avengers Fairy Tales #1-4. #1 (re- 
leased March 12) was based on 
Peter Pan, #2 (April 9) on Pinocchio, 

and #3 (June 4) on Alice in Wonder- 
land: "No one's telling any 'tall' 
tales this month as Cassie 'Stature' 
Lang's size-shifting abilities acci- 
dentally send her spiraling 'down 
the rabbit hole' and into Wonder- 
land! Stature finds herself on an 
Alice-like adventure through this 
warped world where nothing is 
quite what it seems. And when she 
finally runs into the other Young 
Avengers, will she be able to bring 
her twisted teammates to their 
senses in time, before Queen of 
Hearts has off with their heads?!" 
The lovely cover can be seen at 
?id=8727. (Not surprisingly, #4, 
due out July 2, will be based on 
The Wizard ofOz.) 

According to science fiction au- 
thor Rudy Rucker's blog entry of 
February 6 ( 
syllogisms/), he is contributing an 
interview for an upcoming volume 
of articles entitled The Spaces of 
Wonderland (edited by Cris Hol- 
lingworth. University of Iowa 
Press) . He also includes some silly 
syllogisms inspired by Carroll, a 
nice link to the LCSNA website, 
and a sketch of a "beanstalk bridge 
to infinity" featured in his upcom- 
ing novel. 

A survey of 400,000 people 
(though not specifically children) 
by Britain's Booktrust found that 
Alice in Wonderland is the tenth 
"best" children's book "of all 
show/ feature/Home/ 

Part of Kalpana Swaminathan's 
series of mysteries featuring Lalli, 
a silver-haired, sixtyish female 
detective in Bombay, The Gardener's 
Song (RST Indiaink Publishing, 
2008, ISBN 978-8186939352), 
follows the twists and turns of 
"The Mad Gardener's Song": www. 

Treasures in Focus: Alice's Adventures 
Under Ground examines the back- 

ground to the Alice story and in- 
cludes a selection of contemporary 
photographs and reproductions of 
the original pen and ink illustra- 
tions. Written by Sally Brown, 
British Library Publishing, 2008, 
ISBN 9780712309707: http:// 

Illustrator Mary Englebreit has 
added ATW to her "classic library" 
series (HarperFestival, 2008, ISBN 

Happy Alchemy: On the Pleasures of 
Music and the Theatre, a collection 
of Robertson Davies's essays and 
speeches, includes "Lewis Carroll 
in the Theatre," which, despite 
some inaccuracies, reveals a deep 
love and knowledge of Carroll's 
work. Well worth seeking out: 
Viking, New York, 1997, 
ISBN 0670880191. 


The U.K. publisher of Frank Bed- 
dor's Looking Glass Wars series has 
announced a mash-up competi- 
tion to promote the series. "A 
mash-up is a remix of images, 
movies clips and sounds created by 
using simple editing technology.... 
A series of mixable clips based on 
scenes, characters and events from 
the books have been created and 
are available to 'mash' at http:// 

Information on and photographs 
of Lewis Carroll/Charles Dodg- 
son's grave can be found at www. 

Vivienne Westwood's manifesto 
"Active Resistance to Propaganda" 
includes the characters of Alice, 
the White Rabbit, and the Mad 
Hatter, as well as Pinocchio, Aristo- 
tle, Whistler, Hitler, Icarus, and 
Leonard Peltier: www.activeresis- 


Ninety percent of "Alice," an elec- 
tronic musical piece, is composed of 
sounds from Disney's Alice In Wonder- 
land. Created by nineteen-year-old 
Australian Nicic Bertke, the music 
video (using bits from the film, of 
course) can seen at 

LCSNA member Monica Edinger's 
fourth-grade class at The Dalton 
School in New York City has cre- 
ated an online comic book for this 
year's A/2c^ project: http://blogs. 
alice-2008-7-a-mad-tea-party/ . 
Previous years' projects can be 
viewed at http://intranet.dalton. 

A short but pointed animation of 
"The Owl and the Panther," by 
animator and video artist Nick 
Fox-Gieg, can be viewed at www. 
"Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky, as 
read by the Muppets!" is on the 
same page. 


The yet-to-be-filmed Mischa Bar- 
ton movie Malice in Sunderland is 
now Malice in Wonderland, due to 
lack of funds from Sunderland: 

Giving Alice in Wonderland a Mup- 
pety twist, "Abby in Wonderland" 
will star everyone's favorite fairy-in- 
training, Abby Cadabby, in her 
very own musical film. Abby takes 
on the role of Alice, Elmo plays 
the White Rabbit, Grover is the 
Mad Hatter, Cookie Monster por- 
trays the Cheshire Cat, and Bert 
and Ernie appear as Tweedle Dee 
and Tweedle Dum. The DVD will 
be available in September, as well 
as a limited theatrical release: 
coming-your-way.html and www. 

The SciFi Channel has "commis- 
sioned a six-hour miniseries dubbed 
Alice, a modem day-retelling (sic) of 
Alice In Wonderland. . ." from the team 
that created last December's The 
Wizard ofOz tale Tin Man: www. 


The Dell'Arte School of Physical 
Theatre and Comedy of Blue Lake 
(Humboldt County), California, 
performed "Snark" as their travel- 
ing winter show: www.dellarte. 

A musical version of Wonderland 
was performed by ET Cocuk Ti- 
yatrosu for free in more than fifty 
Turkish cities to help children 
widen their imagination and cul- 
tural development: www.turkish- 

Performed January 24 to February 
3, Alice Experiments In Wonderland, a 
partnership between the Univer- 
sity of Central Florida Conserva- 
tory Theatre, Bradley University in 
Peoria, Illinois, and the University 
of Waterloo outside Toronto, si- 
multaneously staged the show live 
using high-speed broadband con- 
nections, 2-D and 3-D sets, and 
ceiling-high screens. Each univer- 
sity had its own cast of characters 
who performed on their respective 
stages with virtual actors "beamed" 
in. See 
004106bc9cc2401 178eff7be2007f4 

Follow Amerigo Vespucci down 
the rabbit hole and into America 
in 2008. Bewildered by a nation of 
excess, where eating and drinking 
make him larger and smaller (but 
mostly fatter) , he is simultaneously 
mistaken for a Victorian school 
girl and labeled an illegal immi- 
grant. Amerigo pursues a pill- 
trailing White Rabbit through a 
super-sized dream-continent that 
bears his name. Will Amerigo be 

beheaded by the Red Queen or 
will he conquer this pack of cards? 
Amerigo in Wonderland was per- 
formed at Yale University's Yale 
Cabaret, January 31 through Feb- 
ruary 2, and conceived and di- 
rected by Suzanne Appel: 

On March 8 and 9, the Gwinnett 
Ballet Theatre of Snellville, Geor- 
gia, performed a ballet of Alice 
with wonderful costumes: A stun- 
ning selection of photos from the 
production and "behind-the- 
scenes" were taken by Richard 

Alice in a hookah lounge . . . with 
the Caterpillar performed by a 
male belly dancer ... in Colorado 
Springs? Okay, sure, why not? The 
Moody Touring Mystery Theatre 
com) performed at 40 Thieves 
Hookah Lounge (http:// on Friday, 
March 28, and Saturday, March 29: 

From April 6 to 27, "Cocktailgate" 
presented Alison Wonderbra, a drag 
musical (or as they refer to it, a 
"dragsical") featuring excerpts of 
dialog and song from the 1976 
Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated 
Musical Comedy, at the Truck night- 
club in San Francisco: www.sf- 

In celebration of the 150th anni- 
versary of the first commercial oil 
well in North America in 1858 at 
Oil Springs, Ontario, Canada, 
Victoria Playhouse Petrolia (VPP) 
presented "Alice in Oil Town," 
April 7 to 13. The play "is a de- 
lightful romp that incorporates 
many of the well-known Alice char- 
acters with historical figures and 
events associated with the oil heri- 
tage of Lambton County. The Mad 
Hatter becomes a crazy oil driller, 
the Queen of Hearts is now the 
Queen of Derricks, the flowers in 


a lovely garden play a dangerous 
game of "Toss the Nitro," and 
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum 
can set you up with everything you 
need to start pumping oil." www. 
aspx?e=954151; www. victoria 

The March 2008 Playbill (NYC) 
contains a full-page ad for Trip of 
Love. The candy-colored cartoon- 
ish artwork shows an adolescent 
girl, with hair and costume remi- 
niscent of Disney's Alice, leaning 
thoughtfully on a pink-spotted 
giant mushroom. "A new musical 
revue featuring hits from the 
1960s! Experience James Walski's 
heart-pounding choreography and 
the chic costume designs of Tony 
Award Winner Gregg Barnes as 
you follow the journey of a young 
woman through this exciting era." 
The world premiere was April 14, 
2008, in Osaka, Japan. The visuals 
at confirm 
that a giant mushroom features in 
the stage design. 

Triple Shadow's Alice: End of Daze 
follows nine-year-old Alice, por- 
trayed by an actress in her sixties, 
as she escapes into a fantastic, 
surreal wonderland where she 
meets some familiar — and occa- 
sionally sinister — humans and 
puppet characters such as Humpty 
Dumpty, Tweedledumb [sic], and 
Tweedledee. Alice: End of Daze 
explores the nature of time, visual 
perception, and consciousness, as 
Alice finds herself in a fast-paced 
world, venturing into places where 
past, present, and future seem- 
ingly coexist. She encounters an- 
cient Mayan beliefs under attack 
by Spanish missionaries, modern- 
day creationism, global warming 
theories, end-of-days scenarios, 
and a nineteenth-century photo 
shoot that turns into a harrowing 
wild-west firing squad taking aim 
directly at her head. At New York's 
La Mama Experimental Theatre 
Club, the show ran from April 24 
to May 11: 

"Imagine Alice, 7 years old, born 
and raised in today's Greenwich 
Village, New York City. From the 
moment she wakes up until she 
rests her weary head, her parents 
overschedule and manage her day. 
With Architecture, Piano, Book 
Club, French, and Ballet classes 
overwhelming her, Alice has for- 
gotten what it is like to be a child 
and simply play. Will her journey 
through Wonderland help her 
reclaim her childhood or is Alice 
destined to become an adult way 
before her time?" The New Acting 
Company presented Alice in Won- 
derland from April 25 to May 25: 

David Del Tredici's "opera in con- 
cert form," Final Alice, was per- 
formed in its entirety for the first 
time in some thirty years May 8-10 
at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy 
Center by the National Symphony 
Orchestra, conducted by Leonard 
Slatkin. The performance received 
rave reviews: www.washingtonpost. 
com/wp-dyn/content/ article/ 

The world premiere of Peter 
Westergaard's opera Alice in Won- 
derland was performed on Thurs- 
day, May 22, in Richardson Audito- 
rium of Alexander Hall at 
Princeton University, and Tuesday 
and Wednesday, June 3-4, at the 
Peter Jay Sharp Theater in Sym- 
phony Space, Broadway at 95th 
Street in New York. A cast of seven 
performed thirty-eight roles, in 
addition to playing all the music! 

Broadway Bares 18: Wonderland wsis 
performed on June 22 at New 
York's Roseland Ballroom. The 
popular annual benefit was execu- 
tive produced by Jerry Mitchell 
{Legally Blonde, Hairspray) and 
directed by Denis Jones {Legally 
Blonde, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) . 

Mary Birdsong {Fame Becomes Me, 
Hairspray) played Alice, along with 
Broadway dancers cast as The Mad 
Hatter, The March Hare, Tweedle 
Dum and Tweedle Dee, and other 
denizens of Wonderland, and 
more than 200 of Broadway's "hot- 
test bodies." The event raised a re- 
cord-breaking $874,372 for Broad- 
way Cares/Equity Fights AIDS: 

Unsuk Chin's opera, Alice in Won- 
derland, first performed at the 
Bayerischen Staatoper (Bavarian 
State Opera) in Munich last year, 
is now available on DVD: www. 

Is it me or is it just sad that the 
"Jabbawockeez," winners of televi- 
sion's "America's Best Dance 
Crew," discuss how much they like 
Mexican food but fail to acknowl- 
edge the source of their name? 
crew/crews jhtml?crew= 

View an eloquent American Sign 
Language-version of "Jabber- 
wocky," signed/ performed by Carl 
Schroeder, on his blog Ka'lalau's 
Korner: http://carl-schroeder. 

The Telegraph (U.K.) named 199rs 
Snark as the eighth worst musical 
of all time: "A reported £2.1 mil- 
lion was spent on the show, which 
successfully emptied the Prince 
Edward theatre and bowed out 
after seven weeks": www. telegraph. 
2008/04/24/btmusicalsl 24.xml. 

The Alberta (Canada) Ballet has 
announced that Alice in Wonder- 
land vnW be performed March 27 
and 28, 2009, in Edmonton, and 
April 2, 3, and 4, 2009, in Calgary: 

The premiere of Rob Kapilow's 
Jabberwocky at the Lincoln Center 
for the Performing Arts will take 


place on Saturday, April 25, 2009, 
and will include performances by 
the Family Musik Chamber En- 
semble, the Young People's Cho- 
rus of New York City, and Pickle- 
Shoes Dance Theatre: 

"Alice in the Shadows," a psyche- 
delic rock'n'roll shadow play by 
Maria Bodmann, Cliff DeArment, 
and the Eggmen, was part of a 
"Celebrate Puppetry" Festival on 
Saturday, June 7, at McGroarty 
Arts Center in Tujunga, California. 
This filmic theater experience was 
presented in the round on a back- 
lit screen. Translucent carved 
color characters and live rock 
music from the '60s, dramatic 
lighting, and special effects con- 
tributed to the overall dreams- 
cp.html and 

In Kate Brehm's Pig and Pepper, 
Alice is followed down a toy the- 
ater video rabbit hole, using classi- 
cal AA/W illustrations as puppets, 
and a camera as an overhead pro- 
jector. Included in the Toy The- 
ater Cabaret on Saturday, May 31, 
this piece was part of the 8th Inter- 
national Toy Theater Festival, at 
St. Ann's Warehouse (www.stanns in Brooklyn, NY. 
TTF08/index.html#cabaret for 
more information on the show 
and festival. 

Disney's "It's a Small World" ride is 
undergoing renovations, with 
every rumor and aspect seemingly 
designed to generate controversy: 
larger boats and deeper water to 
accommodate today's larger Amer- 
icans, the rainforest scene re- 
placed by an American patriotic 
scene, Disney movie characters 
added into "culturally appropri- 
ate" scenes (Mulan into "China," 
for example). One addition, at 

least, does seem appropriate: Alice 
and the White Rabbit added to 
"England," using Mary Blair's 
designs. Since "Small World" was 
originally designed by Blair, these 
new figures should blend right in: 

Despite attempts by the Lewis 
Carroll Society (U.K.) and local 
groups to declare it a historic site, 
Penmorfa, the Liddells' former 
summer home in Wales, has been 
slated for demolition: http:// 

In a rather ironic move, £24 mil- 
lion was spent on the restoration 
of five parks in Llandudno, includ- 
ing the addition of Alice in Wonder- 
land sculptures: http://icwales. 
24m-for-parks-in-wales-9 1 466- 

What does skiing have to do with 
Alice in Wonderland? Well, nothing, 
but that didn't stop Winter Park Ski 
Resort in Colorado from naming 
some of their ski trails after the 
Wonderland characters: 

Speaking of tenuous connections, 
when in Rome you can stay at the 
Alice in Wonderland B&B. Looks 
like a nice place, but no explana- 
tion of the name is given on the 

The Wilson Library at the Univer- 
sity of North Carolina - Chapel 
Hill's exhibit "The ABC of Collect- 
ing Everyman's Library" included 
an Alice originally owned by Alice 
(Liddell) Hargreaves. The exhibit 
ran from January 17 through 
March 31: 

Less fashion show than art installa- 
tion, designers Alice and Olivia's 
spring collection paid homage to 


In addition to a large collection of 
art and artifacts, the Morse Insti- 
tute Library in Natick, Massachu- 
setts, has a stained glass window in 
its Children's Room that depicts a 
little beagle trotting beside Alice 
in Wonderland when she meets 
the March Hare. Why? Because 
the longtime library trustee who 
donated it raised beagles as a 
hobby: www.metrowestdailynews. 
com/homepage/x21241 13371. 

After a highly successful four-year 
national tour, the "Alice's Wonder- 
land: a Most Curious Adventure" 
exhibit (described in KL 70) has 
returned to Children's Discovery 
Museum of San Jose, California: 
asp?mlid= 1 48#alice . 

At the Alice in Wonderland Croquet 
Tournament and Trunk Show on 
Sunday, June 8th, in San Francis- 
co's Stern Grove, costumed attend- 
ees could play croquet with the 
Queen of Hearts and the Cheshire 
Cat, watch the Mad Tea Party per- 
formance (with the XOX Bur- 
lesque Girls!?), enjoy the summer 
breeze, and view beautiful cre- 
ations of the best local designers 
and artists: www.eternalspring 

An installation in the dining room 
at the Rosenbach Museum & Li- 
brary in Philadelphia pays homage 
to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. 
"In honor of the 80th anniversary 
of Dr. Rosenbach's famous pur- 
chase of the Alice manuscript, we'll 
set a place for Alice herself. The 
installation will feature selections 
from the Rosenbach's collection of 
ceramic and silver tea equipage, 
but hopefully no real dormice." 
The installation has been ex- 
tended through summer 2008: 




These "Follow the White Rabbit" 
panties say they're a Matrix refer- 
ence. Hmph. 

The Design Toscano website has a 
resin Humpty Dumpty statue for 
your garden or a very strong book- 
shelf (it weighs 11 pounds). It's 
not quite Tenniel, but... 

At the recent toy fair in NYC, Ton- 
ner Dolls showed off the latest 
from the Alice collection, includ- 
ing, strangely enough, the Queens 
of Diamonds, Clubs, and Spades: 
Wonderland_l 12558. asp and 
There is also an Alice-lookalike in 
Tonner's "Kickits" collection, titled 
"Hunting Rabbit": www.tonnerdoll. 

Cleverly designed AA/W paper 
puppets can be found at www.etsy. 
id=l 1564611. 

Play the Alice's Magical Mahjong 
computer game and head down 
the rabbit hole for fanciful mah- 
jong fun with a hidden object 
twist! Help the quirky characters 
of Wonderland by matching tiles 
in more than 175 layouts. Between 
levels, join the White Rabbit, the 
Mad Hatter, the Caterpillar, and 
more on a search for hidden items 
in twenty beautifully detailed 
scenes: and 

At May's National Stationery Show 
in New York, a collaboration of 
several small design and print 
studios produced a limited-edition 
book and series of illustration 
plates based on "The Walrus and 
the Carpenter." The accordion- 
fold pocket book neatly holds each 
plate alongside the stanzas it illus- 
trates. In order to complete the 
full set, attendees at the show 
needed to visit each of the booths 
to collect the book and all of the 
illustration plates. The group con- 
sists of Albertine Press, Linda & 
Harriett (www.lindaand, Spruce Avenue 
(, and 
Two Trick Pony (www. two trick The booklet can be 
seen at http://albertinepress. 

Celebrity stuff: Singers Ashley 
Simpson and Pete Wentz married 
on May 21 in Los Angeles in an 
AAJW-themed wedding 
0„20201563,00.html), while for- 
mer Spice Girl Geri Halliwell 
threw an AA/W-themed birthday 
party for her two-year-old. Blue- 
bell, on May 27 ( 

Who knew Alice and Humpty 
Dumpty were on Mars!? They are 
some of the recently named tar- 
gets within view of NASA's Phoe- 
nix Mars Lander stationed in the 
Martian arctic: 

Tatiana lanovskaia has completed 
a limited edition of a full-color 
rendering of Wonderland. (Her 
b/w version came out in 2005.) 
Fifty were printed at $40; another 
fifty (slightly damaged) for $25. 
Also available are her Looking- 
Glass, printed in Russia ($15), the 
b/w Wonderland ($15), The Mad 
Gardener's Song (b/w $10; color 
$25), and a deck of playing cards 
($30) .; 
Tania Press, 25 Black Hawk Way, 
North York,ON,M2R 3L5,Canada. 
Prices do not include postage. 

L J«'<.